9 Ways You Can Help Support My Husband the Author

Sue L Canfield
Sue L Canfield
Because I’m not only Joel’s biggest fan but also his social media marketing manager, he asked me to share a few ways that you, his other fans, can support him as an author.

  1. Connect with Joel on the following social media platforms.
  1. Share Joel’s social media posts.
  1. Sign up for Joel’s monthly newsletter. Joel sends out a monthly newsletter about his mysteries the middle of each month. It’s the first place you’ll hear about his new books, even before they are published. It always includes links to his previous blog posts which are often short book excerpts. Anyone who signs up for the newsletter gets two free books. One is the first Phil Brennan book, A Long, Hard Look, (which, though each book stands alone, you might want to read before the second Phil Brennan book, A Still, Small Voice, comes out in December.) The other free book, since Joel forgot to remove the download for it and he’ll probably never get around to it, is Through the Fog, an Irish Mystery.
  1. Share the link to sign up for the newsletter. Remember, if you recommend the newsletter to a friend, you’re essentially giving them two free books!
  1. Subscribe to Joel’s blog. You’ll see at the blog in the left sidebar where to subscribe – it says Get new posts by email. Just put in your email address and never miss another blog post. Don’t forget to comment at the blog as well.
  1. Buy Joel’s books. You can find them at his website here and on Amazon.
  1. Buy a copy of one of Joel’s books for a friend who you think will enjoy it but hasn’t yet discovered his books.
  1. Review Joel’s books on Amazon. If you’ve read any of Joel’s books, please provide an honest review at Amazon.
  1. Send Joel an email. He loves to hear from his fans. Whether you want to provide feedback, ask a question, share how you supported him, or anything else, Joel would love to hear from you! His email is Joel@JoelDCanfield.com

Because authors are emotional creatures, and I know from experience this is especially true of Joel, supportive things like reviews at Amazon, comments at the blog, enthusiastic shares on social media and even personal emails help make an author enthusiastic about continuing to write. [And easier to live with.—jdc]

Phil Brennan, Web Martin, and Jesse Donovan Walk Into A Bar

Joel D CanfieldYou’d think I’d know what to expect considering who I was meeting in the cheap dive downtown.

One at a time, sure.

I’d never sat down with the three of them, not all at once.

It’s enough to drive you to drink.

Or for those with other proclivities, to write.

Or maybe both.

Big Launch for ‘A Still, Small Voice’

A Still, Small VoicePhil Brennan mystery #2, A Still, Small Voice, will be published before year end. After the 1st of the year I’m going to go on a blog tour, writing short custom pieces for a handful of bloggers who’d be a good fit for my style of writing. There will be lots of free copies of the digital version and as many other surprises as I can muster.

If you are, or know of, a blog that would be a good fit, please let me know either in the comments or by email to joel@joeldcanfield.com if you’d be so kind.

More to Come

Insiders get all the news first. They also get all the best free stuff. Be an insider. Sign up for the newsletter.

Why Aren’t You Signed Up for the Newsletter?

Did you know that everyone who signs up for my newsletter gets not 1 but 2 free books? And they’re not has-beens or outcasts. You’ll get Through the Fog, my most popular book ever by a wide margin, and A Long, Hard Look, the first Phil Brennan mystery (oh, look, the second in the series will be out by year end.)

My 1st newsletter was a long time ago
My 1st newsletter was a long time ago
You also get the first look at much of my writing, opportunities for even more free books, and the audio versions of my 1-Page Classics absolutely free (they’re 99¢ to the average citizen.)

So why aren’t you signed up?

Tell you what: give it a try. Sign up. Grab the 2 free books. Grab the free audio stuff. Read the next newsletter. If you aren’t thrilled to be involved, unsubscribe. Since I have written multiple articles for business folk about how great it is when casual or uninterested readers unsubscribe from a list they’re not excited about, you know I’m not going to be bothered by it.

But at the very least, give it a try, eh?

My Editor Makin’ My Book Better

You’ll want to sing that title to the tune of, um, something that fits. I don’t know what. I just know it’s better if you sing it.

polish-it-upMy editor, Tom Bentley, doesn’t just nudge my words into place. Line editing is important. His polishes my words from workmanlike to well done.

He also asks me hard questions.

… more … “My Editor Makin’ My Book Better”

Writing Updates: Ginger, and Jesse Donovan

Ginger, the Ship Captain's CatI have what might be the final version of the Ginger stories in my hand. Once I review the formatting and layout, it gets uploaded along with the cover and then I’ll be ordering a printed proof.

Could have it in hand by the end of next week.

First book in a new series, featuring artsy romantic Jesse Donovan, is picking up momentum. Next month’s newsletter will include first drafts of two critical scenes from the B plot, plus a Q&A with myself about moving it forward, fixing the holes, and making it fly.

Writing is the easiest thing and the hardest work I’ve ever done.

Books as Physical Objects: Large Print

really large printI have loads of opinions about they physicality of books: the weight, the smell, the way they look on a shelf, the physical design.

One issue with the last is the sheer ugliness of large print books.

I’m slowly collecting hardcover versions of Chandler. I only have 4 of his 8 books in hardcover. The others are either paperback (The Little Sister) or in an omnibus with, sadly, missing pages (The High Window, The Lady in the Lake, and Farewell, My Lovely.)

… more … “Books as Physical Objects: Large Print”

Ruminating Art

Been yearning lately to have an unconventional cover band again.

Working on the 9 sentences defining the critical waypoints in Into the Fog.

Planning for another 333, with a bit of time off (I hope) for songwriting.

Totally stalled on the first Jake Calcutta mystery anodyne.

Moving ahead on Commonsense Zero-Cost DIY Marketing for Authors.

Talking to the local public access TV station about doing a regular show for aspiring authors.

All underpinned by some personal things that make creative thinking harder.

Practical Advice from ‘The Invisible Gorilla’ by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons (An Actionable Books summary)

“We experience far less of our visual world than we think we do.”

The Invisible Gorilla page 7

Imagine watching a video of two basketball teams dribbling and passing the ball. You count the passes of the white-shirted team to each other. You’re focused, but certainly not oblivious.

Just in case you haven’t seen this yet, stop right now and watch this video. Pay attention to the instructions. Then continue reading.

Watch the video before you continue reading!

Did you see it? Half — half — of the people who watch the video don’t see it.

This is not an “illusion” in the sense we’re used to. No tricks, no editing. The illusion is that we think we experience the world around us fully.

Truth is, we just might be missing more than we experience, just as you may have missed the gorilla in that video.

Rather than a theoretical manifesto, Chabris and Simons share solid research to alert us to six places we all think we’re experiencing more of our world than is true:

1. attention: how much of our environment we experience
2. memory: not only can we forget, we can remember things that never happened
2. confidence: greater confidence is linked to less ability, not more
4. knowledge: our knowledge of most things is seriously superficial
5. cause: we see causation far more often than the evidence warrants
6. potential: belief in shortcuts to expand our brain’s abilities

The primary example of the book relates to the invisible gorilla and our ability to pay attention. GEM #2 will explore how we see cause and effect even when it’s not there.

Here’s what you’ll learn: … more … “Practical Advice from ‘The Invisible Gorilla’ by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons (An Actionable Books summary)”

Why Affiliate Links Build Trust Instead of Evil

When you click on my affiliate link it’s a gift to me. Not a financial gift; that’s too obvious. The gift is trust.

It’s true that the vendor gives me a gift on your behalf, and you don’t spend one penny extra. But that’s not the point. The point is that when you click on that link you accept my recommendation because you trust me. Because I recommended a book at Amazon or hosting at CharlottezWeb or that you or your male friend shave with equipment you buy at Harry’s, You were willing to at least click the link and go look, and maybe even buy something.

Yes, affiliate links (which we used to call commissioned sales) have been done to death, and are used for every imaginable evil.

There just tools. They are not evil. They are, in fact, a way for us to grow the trust which magically happens even over the Internet when people speak sincerely and genuinely listen.

photo http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1379920 by LuZiVerne http://www.sxc.hu/profile/LuZiVerne

Practical Advice from ‘Wait: The Art and Science of Delay’ by Professor Frank Partnoy (An Actionable Books summary)

“The essence of my case is this: given the fast pace of our modern life, most of us tend to react too quickly.”

Wait, page xi

You’ve heard the marshmallow experiment: sit a bunch of 4-year-olds down, give them a marshmallow, and tell them if they wait a few minutes before eating it, they’ll get 2 marshmallows. Those who could wait did better later in life in areas requiring self-control. (That’s a monumentally trivial summary of the monumentally important study.)

Here’s what you’ll learn: … more … “Practical Advice from ‘Wait: The Art and Science of Delay’ by Professor Frank Partnoy (An Actionable Books summary)”

Practical Advice from ‘Decisive’ by Chip and Dan Heath (An Actionable Books summary)

“The pros-and-cons approach is familiar. It is commonsensical. And it is also profoundly flawed.”

Decisive, page 8

Humans are fundamentally irrational. We like to think our decisions are logical deductions based on empirical data, but this ignores large and powerful portions of our brains in which emotions overpower or undermine logic.

This gives rise to four villains in our decision-making process:

  1. Narrow framing – spotlighting one alternative at the expense of others available
  2. Confirmation bias – developing a belief about a situation, then seeking out information that bolsters our belief
  3. Short-term emotion – mental churn which obscures perspective
  4. Overconfidence about how the future will unfold – we cannot examine what we can’t see or know

We may be irrational, but we’re predictably irrational. Forewarned is forearmed: knowing the villains means we can learn coping strategies.

Acting as if we already have a quality will produce it.

Here’s what you’ll learn: … more … “Practical Advice from ‘Decisive’ by Chip and Dan Heath (An Actionable Books summary)”

Practical Advice from ‘The As If Principle’ by Dr. Richard Wiseman (An Actionable Books summary)

“Common sense suggests that the chain of causation is:
You feel happy — You smile
You feel afraid — You run away

 The As If theory suggests that the opposite is also true:
You smile — You feel happy
You run away — You feel afraid”

The As If Principle, page 11

Modern self-improvement texts universally direct us to change how we think in order to change how we behave.

Dr. Richard Wiseman, Britain’s only professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology, shows in The As If Principle that instead, we can focus on actions which will change how we think and feel. We get the same results, only faster and, according to Wiseman’s studies, more consistently and reliably.

Acting as if we already have a quality will produce it.

Here’s what you’ll learn: … more … “Practical Advice from ‘The As If Principle’ by Dr. Richard Wiseman (An Actionable Books summary)”

Practical Advice from ‘Learned Optimism’ by Martin E. P. Seligman (An Actionable Books summary)

“One of the most significant findings in psychology in the last twenty years is that individuals can choose the way they think.”

Learned Optimism, page 8

Al Capp’s satirical comic strip Li’l Abner introduced an iconic character, Joe Btfsplk. Joe walked around with a dark cloud over his head — literally. He brought misfortune everywhere he went. In one sequence, he escaped his cloud, but took it back, accepting that was just who he was: the little guy with the dark cloud over his head.

It’s common to believe that some of us are born with a sunny outlook and others are doomed to life under a dark cloud.

It’s not true.

Optimism can be learned and pessimism overcome.

A pioneer in the field of positive psychology, Martin E. P. Seligman has spent decades studying negative and positive thinking, developing practical methods to transform the former into the latter.

Whether we are pessimistic or optimistic depends on whether we see adversities as

  • permanent
  • pervasive
  • personal


  • temporary
  • specific to these circumstances
  • not our fault

Optimism, it turns out, is a skill each of us can learn. Here’s what you’ll learn: … more … “Practical Advice from ‘Learned Optimism’ by Martin E. P. Seligman (An Actionable Books summary)”

Practical Advice from ‘To Sell Is Human’ by Daniel Pink (An Actionable Books summary)

“1. If the person you’re selling agrees to buy, will his or her life improve?
2. When your interaction is over, will the world be a better place than when you began?

If the answer to either of these questions is no, you’re doing something wrong.”

To Sell Is Human, page 232

In the closing words of To Sell is Human, Dan Pink puts his mouth where the money is. Whether we like it or not, selling is a very human experience. Those of us who like it, in fact, have a distinct advantage over the inhumane practices we’ve come to associate with the word “salesman.”

Research confirms what we already knew: the word most associated with “sales” or “selling” is pushy, followed closely by sleazy, slimy, manipulative, and dishonest. Back in the bad old days, a salesman had all the information. You were at his mercy (if such existed.) Caveat emptor; buyer, beware!

Thanks to the internet, today we all have the information. Pink coins a new phrase: caveat venditor. Yes, in a world where information is ubiquitous, buyers know as much as or more than the seller. Not only can we protect ourselves from bad products and services, any seller dumb enough to behave unscrupulously can be pilloried in pixels around the world.

While many believed that universal access to information would make sales irrelevant, the surprising discovery is that a large segment of workers are still engaged directly in sales. If we include what Pink calls “non-sales selling,” that number becomes “all of us.”

Here’s what you’ll learn: … more … “Practical Advice from ‘To Sell Is Human’ by Daniel Pink (An Actionable Books summary)”

Practical Advice from ‘The Icarus Deception’ by Seth Godin (An Actionable Books summary)

“We’re living in a moment of time, the first moment of time, when a billion people are connected, when your work is judged (more than ever before) based on what you do rather than who you are, and when credentials, access to capital, and raw power have been dwarfed by the simple question ‘Do I care about what you do?’”

The Icarus Deception, page 219

Most of us grew up in a world where everyone had a job. A world where publishing a book meant being picked by a publisher, where recording a music album meant being picked by a record company. School was a place you went Monday through Friday from 9 to 3 where you were taught reading, writing, and arithmetic. You were also taught to sit still, follow instructions, color inside the lines, and fit in.

Above all, you were taught to fit in.

That world is over. Though it lingers, the future, the very near future, belongs to those who are willing to stand up, stand out, and turn anything they do into a remarkable work of art. This idea is the basis of Seth Godin’s The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?

Here’s what you’ll learn: … more … “Practical Advice from ‘The Icarus Deception’ by Seth Godin (An Actionable Books summary)”

Practical Advice from ‘All In’ by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton (An Actionable Books summary)

Why Is This My Most Searched-For Post?

For being old and off-topic, this post gets a surprising amount of traffic. I’m curious: what brought you here? Tell me, down in the comments form below or on the contact page.

“‘Do you believe I can cross the falls [Niagara] with this wheelbarrow?’ he called out.

‘Yes!’ they yelled as one.

‘Wonderful,’ he said. ‘Then who will get in?’”

All In, page 4

The Great Blondin didn’t settle for simply walking across a high wire strung above Niagara Falls. Back flips. Chairs. In the quote above, a wheelbarrow.

There’s a world of difference between what we say we believe and what our actions show we believe.

The fans were delighted to watch. Participate? No thank you.

One man did. Blondin’s manager, Harry Colcord, climbed up and got in the wheelbarrow.

That is the kind of belief which makes the difference between mediocrity and excellence.

Here’s what you’ll learn: … more … “Practical Advice from ‘All In’ by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton (An Actionable Books summary)”

Practical Advice from ‘The Laws of Subtraction’ by Matthew E. May (An Actionable Books summary)

“[W]hen you remove just the right thing in just the right way, something good usually happens.”

The Laws of Subtraction, page xii

A long time ago in a world most of us have never seen, simply speaking up got you noticed. Most folks went through life without trying to attract attention. The simple agrarian world didn’t require a coordinated online marketing network to survive.

Today if you have anything you want heard, if you endeavor to create art of any kind, your venue has shifted from “my village” to the entire world. For the past 50 years business folk have acted as if the loudest voice saying the most words wins.

Extra buttons. Brighter colors. Faster. Bigger.


In a world of excessive excess, subtraction is not only good creative and marketing thinking, it’s morally responsible.

Here’s what you’ll learn: … more … “Practical Advice from ‘The Laws of Subtraction’ by Matthew E. May (An Actionable Books summary)”

Practical Advice from ‘Losing My Virginity’ by Richard Branson (An Actionable Books summary)

“Conventionally, you concentrate on narrow boundaries when running a company. Not only do I find that restrictive I also think that it’s dangerous.”

Losing My Virginity, page 409

I was astonished to discover that this 600-page book could be boiled down to a handful of business principles. A separate lesson all its own, you’ll realize as you read Losing My Virginity that Richard Branson, rebel that he is, rebels in a consistent and predictable manner.

Raised by parents who constantly challenged him, beaten down by teachers who were clueless about his learning disabilities, Branson’s youth gave him a balance of determination and joy. His businesses have all been an extension of his personality. While it’s easy to dismiss advice like “have fun, be creative, follow your dreams” as new-age nonsense, it’s hard to argue with the success of the man who has launched more billion-dollar businesses than anyone in history.

Because his success is, not just well-known, but the stuff of legend, I’ll include more extensive quotes than usual, and keep my comments to a minimum. He can speak for himself.

Here’s what you’ll learn: … more … “Practical Advice from ‘Losing My Virginity’ by Richard Branson (An Actionable Books summary)”

Practical Advice from ‘How Will You Measure Your Life?’ by Clayton M. Christensen (An Actionable Books summary)

“I know for sure that none of these people graduated with a deliberate strategy to get divorced or lose touch with their children—much less to end up in jail. Yet this is the exact strategy that too many ended up implementing.”

How Will You Measure Your Life?, page 4

How Will You Measure Your Life extrapolates business and life lessons by combining these principles:

  • what gets measured improves
  • hindsight is easier but foresight is better
  • business and life often run parallel

The advice throughout the book focuses not on the minutiae but the big picture, teaching business lessons and applying them to life choices. The result is forceful in its clarity and simplicity.

Here’s what you’ll learn: … more … “Practical Advice from ‘How Will You Measure Your Life?’ by Clayton M. Christensen (An Actionable Books summary)”