AVAILABLE NOW!!! The Cary Grant Sanatorium and Playhouse - A disgraced Hollywood starlet, Donna Darling, and two-time German Army deserter, Séamus von Funck, meet in 1942 at an idyllic Ohio home for unwed mothers—or a Nazi abortion slaughterhouse, depending on whom you talk to. Their love endures despite the efforts of a power-hungry congressman, an overzealous religious tabloid, and Donna's Hollywood past. (Psst, it includes Cary Grant.) They prevail despite Séamus being a suspected Nazi spy and America's first prisoner of the second World War—and also the first to escape.

Available now!!

Available now!!
Click to order!

About Me

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Will Tinkham has published six novels: THE CARY GRANT SANATORIUM AND PLAYHOUSE, THE GREAT AMERICAN SCRAPBOOK, THE ADVENTURES OF HANK FENN, BONUS MAN, NO HAPPIER STATE, and ALICE AND HER GRAND BELL. He lives and writes in Minneapolis, MN. His short fiction has been published on three continents and he long ago attended Bread Loaf on a scholarship. An actor of little renown, his credits do include the Guthrie Theater and Theatre in the Round. @WillTinkhamfictionist on Facebook

Sunday, December 31, 2017

On statistics

Facebook just flashed up a memory from New Year's Eve 2014 where I declared that I was going to begin a self-publishing venture (and also predicted that Joe Mauer would contend for another batting title).

In 2015 I sold 105 copies of the three titles published. I published two more in 2016 and totaled an even 100 for all five novels. For whatever reason sales plummeted this year: now six titles combined for a meager 19 books sold. Each book has sold less than the one before—which, I believe, is the opposite of how things are supposed to work.

On the other hand: I'm having a blast writing these books. With everything that could've brought me down in '17, writing has kept me sane and sober. That's your upside to an 81% drop in sales.

And, for the record, Mauer did finish 7th in the league in hitting this year.                                                                                                                                                                    
Happy New Year!!!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

On click bait

What bizarre internet algorithm landed my book cover in “FROM THE WEB “ alongside quick fixes for Swamp Girls with eye bags?

I couldn't resist clicking on it (click bait?!) and was stunned to find this ad occupying the top of this Scribd site touting their $8.99-all-you-can-read buffet.

I paid for no advertising. Does Scribd offer 49¢ worth of free ad time to new books to their site? I doubt it. All I can say is my branching out to seven new ebook outlets, along with this free marketing boost, have amounted to exactly zero (0) new sales.

We keep trying.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

On ebooks

Over the last three years I've published my ebooks exclusively through Amazon Kindle in order to take advantage of their 70% royalty rate for doing so. Problem is I ain't sellin' any through them lately and have decided to expand to multiple vendors such as B&N, iBooks and others displayed in this post.

Today No Happier State is no longer under any exclusive contractual obligation with Kindle and will soon be available through these other outlets (as well as Amazon). The same will happen with The Cary Grant Sanatorium and Playhouse and The Adventures of Hank Fenn later this month, and the other three at the end of January.

Time will tell if this jump-starts my sales. One thing is for sure, your Facebook feeds will be deluged with links to these new outlets and for that I apologize.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Oh, Weill

A very intimate affair last night. I guess I could blame it on the StarTribune (see previous post) and their confusion over the title of my book. Or I could blame it on the Pioneer Press and their misspelling of my name:

But I won't.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

On a title or two

So I made the online event calendar at the StarTribune. A good thing except somehow they saw fit to add a couple of quotation marks and turned one title into two.

For the record: I'll be reading from one novel, The Cary Grant Sanatorium and Playhouse, and would be thrilled if anyone would come by and have a listen. Thanks!

Also, the book is now on sale at Magers & Quinn (for those who simply can't wait).

Monday, August 7, 2017

On Bryan Ferry and Clara Barton

Got home late last evening and snipped off my second wristband in two nights. That alone should be cause for a blog post. The fact that I'd seen Bryan Ferry at the Palace Theater, then saw some genuine theater with Linda Sue Anderson as Clara Barton at the Bryant Lake Bowl was cause for much reflection on my part.

Bryan Ferry brought me back to an early '80s Roxy Music show in Oakland and the years between wishing I was half as cool as him. Yet, for the last half of the Saturday night show, all that cool was stripped away as he positively beamed back at a truly adoring audience. I don't know if I've ever witnessed such a mutual thrill between band and crowd. (“Avalon” begins playing on Pandora as I write this.)

Linda Sue Anderson, on the other hand, sat front and center on the tiny, bleak BLB stage and took the audience on. As Clara Barton, she spoke on the atrocities committed at the most notorious of Civil War prisons and demanded we listen to her story—their story, the story of tens of thousands of unknown Union soldiers buried at Andersonville. Themselves They Made Immaculate (the play's title derives from the way southern whites presented themselves once the post-war finger-pointing began) is Barton's testimony before Congress concerning the horrors of the prison camp and the tireless search for the identities of those buried there. A Fringe Festival must (and ends with two shows next weekend). Info.

Of course these two events are hopelessly incongruous, yet both hit me where I've lived, whether it be a young rock'n'roll fan longing for the cool or an old historical fictionist wishing he could tell a story that well. Fine weekend. Have a nice week.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

On giving up on marketing, outreach strategy, page traffic analysis and trends

I've given up on marketing, outreach strategy, page traffic analysis and trends as of August 6, 2017. As all seven of my blog followers here and my Facebook friends are painfully aware, I'm involved in a “reader-powered publishing” venture called Kindle Scout. Readers are allowed to browse as-yet-unpublished books and—if they stumble on a title that strikes their whimsy (like, say, THE CARY GRANT SANATORIUM AND PLAYHOUSE) or a provocative cover catches your eye (maybe one created by my sister, Susan Tinkham)—they may read samples and possibly nominate books for publication by Kindle Press.

The writer, if lucky enough to be selected for publication, receives $1,500 and whatever advertising Amazon will dish out to recoup that advance. I guess that's where marketing comes in. Every day I get an updated “campaign page views per day” chart. Over the last week mine has been pretty constant: dropping below 100 for the first time to 95, slipping as low as 78, then back to 90 on August 5. Being 1/3 of the way through my campaign, I put out a little blurb on FB to remind my friends, maybe get some “shares” and spread the word. Immediately FB flashed me an opportunity: “Boost your ad for $10 and reach 3,400 views in 2 days!”

You gotta spend money to make money, right? I went for it, dammit!

Woke up this morning to find my FB blurb had indeed surged to 338 views—not quite what they'd promised but a 210% increase over my norm. I immediately went to my Scout chart to see how that would reflect on my campaign page views. With my $10 FB “boost” my 90 of yesterday had somehow plummeted to a mere 6—a decrease of 93%.*

   * my first use ever of the snippet tool!

On the bright side: I saw Bryan Ferry last night. DAMN!!!

Friday, July 21, 2017

On Kindle Scout

So I'm doing this Kindle Scout thing again with THE CARY GRANT SANATORIUM AND PLAYHOUSE. It's a bit of a popularity contest--though publication is not solely based on the number of nominations. In 1 - 2 days my 'campaign' will launch and folks will be able to nominate it and other books as they choose. (Not sure if you need an Amazon account--if so, don't bother.) 

Amazon describes it this way: "Kindle Scout is reader-powered publishing... It's a place where readers help decide if a book gets published. Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate and featured Amazon marketing."

The whole thing is explained here: How It Works

Yeah, I'll be beggin' for votes. Obviously, I'll keep you in touch...

Thursday, July 13, 2017

On Saturday

Sat 3 PMRoosevelt LibraryMinneapolis

Got another Cracked Walnut reading coming up Saturday the 15th. Reading with Peter Stein, Louis Murphy, Jim Bohen and Arman Ebrahimi, 3pm at the Roosevelt Library in Mpls. (4026 28th Ave S.) I'm not familiar with any of the others, so it should be interesting to meet them and listen to their work. All are welcome!


Thursday, June 8, 2017

On changing titles

My last post named my new novel Nazi Abortion Slaughterhouse. This proved to require too much explanation and justification when someone asked: “What's the title of your new book?” I found myself explaining that the original title was Sidney's Sanctum, about a home for unwed mothers that is bad-mouthed by an ultra-religious newspaper to the point where it becomes known as a Nazi abortion slaughterhouse. Too much work.

I've gone with a more whimsical title: The Cary Grant Sanatorium and Playhouse. So far this has drawn smiles and chuckles. Which is how it should be. But there's more than just whimsy behind the change. Mr. Grant is a character in the novel and did, in fact, write a check to Sidney's Sanctum and its clinic for the purpose of building a theater that could double as a clinical facility. Much of the last half of the book takes place in, or centers around, the Sanatorium & Playhouse and activities held there.

Sidney's Sanctum? It was named for a small girl who died during the writing of my third novel, Bonus Man. This new novel pretty much picks up where Bonus Man left off. Heck, if you wanna read Bonus Man, you can find it here

And here:

Friday, May 5, 2017

On book six of my five-part series

Just paid Springboard for the Arts for an hour long consultation with a prominent St. Paul bookseller. Not sure what that'll entail but I need to make something happen sales-wise.
I've begun rewrites on my latest novel, NAZI ABORTION SLAUGHTERHOUSE (Honest, it's just a home for unwed mothers). I'm liking it—as I have with all the rest. Should be out come September. It kinda goes like this:
Disgraced Hollywood starlet, Donna Darling, and two-time German Army deserter, Séamus von Funck, meet in 1942 at an idyllic Ohio home for unwed mothers—or a Nazi abortion slaughterhouse, depending on who you talk to. Their love endures despite the efforts of a power-hungry congressman, an overzealous religious tabloid, and Donna's Hollywood past. (Psst, it includes Cary Grant.) Oh, and Séamus being a suspected Nazi spy and America's first prisoner of the second World War—and also the first to escape.
There you have it, fun for the whole family!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

On 1🌟 free books

Between Amazon and Goodreads I have received six reviews/ratings for my novel The Adventures of Hank Fenn: three 5-star reviews (two friends, one stranger), two 5-star ratings (both strangers) and one stranger who just the other day rated the book one star. I have sold 25 copies of that book and given away more than 300 in the hope of gaining readership (and maybe some reviews).

Since I've been present for most of the book's actual sales, it's a good bet that this reader received her copy for free—ruling out any idea that she didn't get her money's worth. She simply disliked the book and I can live with that. Hank Fenn can live with that. She won't be the last.

What troubles me is that she didn't bother to warn her fellow readers about whatever it was she found so distasteful. No review, just clicked that lone star and left it at that. Was it Calamity Jane's coarse language? Hank Fenn's mixed-race marriage? Did the author not treat Mark Twain fairly?

We'll never know because she didn't bother to clarify her disdain for the book. Which is why I write this little post: If you get a book for free and somehow feel cheated, jot your feelings down in the form of a review. It takes less time than that trip to the bookstore you didn't have to take. And it's less painful than actually spending money. Fellow readers can benefit from your ordeal and maybe the author can learn a thing or two as well.

Oh, and Happy New Year! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟