A Writer’s Journey and Some Advice by Richard DeVall

A Writer's Journey and Some Advice:

a guest post by Richard DeVall

The Hypnotist’s Assistant is the book I’ll be talking about. It’s a coming of age novel, published April 30th, 2019. 


So, this is my 4th novel. I now have six published. This is the only one that has been converted to Audible, which is available on Amazon at the above link. It’s also available on iTunes and I don’t have the link. It can be found by putting the title in the search bar at iTunes.

I became interested in writing when I realized that almost all the suspense New York time paperbacks I was reading were a tired formula. A detective pining for his ex, drinking too much, the only thing keeping him, or her, going was finding the bad guy.

At about this time I met someone who told me life is too short to read a bad book. She suggested I read Booker Award novels. So I did. I’m a softy for British writers. They really have a great command of the English language. 

All of this was a while back. I still read science fiction and some horror and things that aren’t Booker Award. But I try to keep reading them to lift my literary experiences above the fray.

I’ve been writing for three years. My words of wisdom to anyone that’s new in the self-publishing business are as follows:

Manage your expectations. Write short books, they’re becoming a trend. Plan on advertising and be very careful about whom you choose to advertise with. Don’t believe much of any of the hype and don’t sign with a publisher who asks for money. 

Amazon is the largest publisher, 70% of all electronic books and 50% of all paperbacks. The majority of readers are age 18 to 29. Most books are bought in the winter and a large percentage of them come from the Midwestern states.
Likes don’t sell books. Let me repeat that, likes don’t sell books. If you publish with Amazon, it’s free. If you’re not technical choose one of their automated covers. Use their special offers, under KDP - free books every 90 days for 5 days. 99 cent books every 90 days and you get 70% royalties.  

The fastest way to get reviews is to buy them. Everybody needs a minimum of 50 reviews to be in the Amazon algorithms. Three years ago it was 25. It won’t be long and you’ll need 100. Pick genres nobody else is doing – space romance with bi-curious zombies. Amazon has 16,000 sub genres; they pay out 25 million every month to people who are their number 1 sellers worldwide. 

There are people buying their way to being New York Times best sellers. Their friends all buy tons of their books and they hit the numbers. If you think it’s about the best writing and you point to Harry Potter, I’m sorry, I think you’re more likely to win the lottery. Pick a spot and go for it.

My book has a wide appeal. I’ve had 20 year old girls tell me they’re reading it for the second time. I’ve had 70 year olds tell me they’re getting their kids to read it. The closest I came to number one (having started one million from the top) was when I rose to the 220th position from being number one for 'Coming of Age'. I was selling 100 books a month. It’s a very tough business.

My newest book – Barefoot Under The Moon - I have no doubt – will one day be number one for humorous dark comedy. At least for that genre, I’m getting the same kind of response as The Hypnotist’s Assistant from adults that like dark, sexy comedies. It’s a great advertising goal to have that sticker on your book.

My goal is to finish my 7th book; it will be published soon. And then I’m going to really concentrate on learning more about the marketing aspect. 

Be brave, write what you like. I feel like I came late to the game. I see everybody writing series. They think that’s the magic bullet. I don’t know, I feel if everyone is doing it’s too late.  

Don’t be surprised if no one you know wants to read your book. It happens. You must have thick skin, control your expectations and treat it like a business. Unless you have a degree in marketing, don’t quit your day job.  

And if you do it, because you have to get it out from inside of you and put it on paper, you’re going to feel a great sense of accomplishment. People want to do two things, open a restaurant or write a book. Be that person that does it! Don’t be discouraged if you hit brick walls. It’ll make the second and the third and so on, much better books. Good Luck!! 

So fascinating to hear about your publishing journey, and the tips you've learned along the way!


Let's learn a little more about the book. 


Readers, here is the blurb for The Hypnotist's Assistant.


When 13 year old Gary Crockett hypnotizes Earl Lancaster and Earl stands from his wheelchair, everything changes for both of them. Gary suspects Earl of lying about his paralysis and Gary’s mom thinks Earl is sexy and a business genius. Before long, all three need to leave town in a hurry.

This coming of age tale is full of surprises and quirky characters, twisted circumstances and weird resolutions. It’s a breezy look at race relations, ladyboys, virginity, snake biting churches and meditation. 

The novel is a one day read and sprinkled with humor. The Hypnotist's Assistant explores healing, romance, religion, deception, dysfunction, inspiration, gender, addiction and loss. 

What begins as an extraordinary event ends with new found love, true friendship and hope. Bottom line - this book ultimately does what books do, it brings the reader entertainment and escape.

And here is an excerpt.



Purchase Link:


Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/bzoDXG


Sounds like an intriguing read! 


A pleasure to have you on Writing in the Modern Age, Richard!


Guest Blogger Bio

Richard DeVall dropped out of high school to see the world. He made his way to Florida, California, and Connecticut, to name a few places. Along the way, at the age of 18 he was convicted of possession of $5 worth of marijuana and spent 5 months in jail. There he took a long look at his life and read, read, and read some more. He dove into all kinds of books -- science fiction, suspense, travel, and even technical manuals. It put a bug in him to one day write.

His books are not all in the same genres. Neither is his mind. He met writers, after his first book, Old Letters and New Demons. The majority of those writers were women and they said romance is where the money is. He thought about that as he wrote a revenge thriller, Pablo’s Apprentice and found some success. Next he wrote science fiction. Minor success, it didn’t run away and not come home like he used to do.

Then he experienced the most success to date with The Hypnotist’s Assistant. People of all ages liked it. It had something for everyone...social commentary, addiction, death, spirituality, and love. If you write him on Facebook in Messenger he will – until he runs out – send you a link and a special number to a free download in audible for that book.

He’s said the critics are few and they don’t bother him for too long. He lives for a good review, it doesn’t need to be too long or wordy.






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