Monthly Archives: April 2015

How to Outwit the Kindle Unlimited Krash #amwriting #selfpublishing #epubchat

Kindle Unlimited isn’t doing anything new. Subscription services originated outside of Amazon, leading the way for readers and authors to find a new way to interact. But KU did tap into the largest market of ebook readers.
That has caused some difficulty for indie authors…and likely for traditionally published authors, as well. Generally payments are down, even if reading rates are the same or stronger.
What this means is that it is time once again to shift the way you produce and market your books. Consider having only some of them available through Kindle and sell the rest of your ebooks on a different site. This could work especially well if you allow print versions of all your books to remain on Amazon.
Also try moving the price points for ebooks you leave on Amazon to a higher point. This could change the borrow rate by broadcasting to readers that your work is worth more. Higher valuation results in greater respect, and more consumer demand.
Finally, always have a direct pathway for sales. Use Gumroad to sell ebooks directly to readers at a discounted price. You’ll receive more money per sale even at $0.99 than Amazon’s standard 35% royalty at that price and you’ll potentially reach more readers.

Job at Midwest Library #authorlife #author #editing

Midwest Library Service, a major academic and public library bookseller, seeks a self-motivated Sales Representative for an established territory. The successful candidate has current library sales experience, lives in or will relocate to Denver, CO, has excellent computer skills, expertise with Microsoft Office and CRM. The position requires extensive travel within the territory.
Click here to apply.

Fantasy is Flying High! #fantasy #getpublished #pubtip

After for so long being a small, very small, market, fantasy has come into its own.
Thank the likes of Neil Gaiman and George R. Martin (and, of course, Game of Thrones’ show) for boosting this deserving category into the limelight.
And now that Britian’s leading literary author, Kazuo Ishiguro, has released what some call fantasy (and others, who aren’t willing to release their notions about how far literary is from fantasy call a fable, a folktale, or etc…anything but fantasy…), we’re seeing a new world of opportunity for authors.
Now is the time to take advantage of this movement. I’ve been looking at agents quite closely over the last several months and have found so many more that now represent fantasy. It’s a leader in publishing, and everyone involved is hoping to find the next huge hit.
And remember that there are many subcategories of fantasy. If you’re working with soft fantasy (as am I) or alternate history fantasy, throw your work in the ring! You’ll be able to stand out from the epic high fantasies that are getting so much attention right now, and you’ll offer the market something unique. That’s always a plus.

Job at American Academy of Arts and Science #authors #editing #authorlife

The American Academy of Arts & Sciences, headquartered in Cambridge, MA, needs a Senior Editorial Assistant in the Office of Publications.
The Academy produces two quarterly publications: Daedalus, the Journal of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and the Bulletin, as well as books, research papers, and monographs.
We would like to fill this position no later than May 15, 2015.
Click here for more info.

Free Publisher’s Weekly Reviews for Indie Authors #amwriting #bookmarketing #howto

For a long time, Publisher’s Weekly, the nation’s leading industry publication, didn’t touch self-published books.
Then, as the dynamics shifted, they began reviewing indie books in separate listings.
Finally they stopped separating indie reviews from traditional publishing house reviews and let everything flow together. But to get a review, indie authors still had to pay for the service.
Now they are offering a way for indie authors to get a free review. Here’s the review they published in their print magazine for my novel, He Drinks Poison:

Cunningham offers an unusual variation on the serial killer thriller, but the explicit sex and violence may be too much for some readers. Veteran FBI agent Priya Conlin-Kumar, who has just been reassigned to Wheeling, W.Va., expects her new posting to be dull, with its focus on suspected money laundering, but she soon finds herself on the trail of a serial killer. In the first major plot twist, two very different men are busy slaughtering women in the area. Quinn Lawrence, a successful businessman, is organized, hand-crafting the tools of his sadism. Blue-collar worker Cole Bennett, who was brutalized by his mother, takes a less methodical approach. Though some unnecessary hype lessens credibility (“Not since 9/11 had so many people suspended their lives to follow one event”), making Priya a Kali worshipper adds depth to the lead. Priya has a nicely developed tragic back story, and her characterization is the book’s strongest element.

He Drinks Poison on Amazon, B&N, Kobo.
Very nice!
This option is now available through Publisher’s Weekly’s latest effort. Recently they launched BookLife.com, a resource website for publishers of all types. All authors can list their books there after creating a profile. Best of all, you can submit your book for a review.
About a week ago they began doing promotional work on the site itself to help authors reach readers. Give them a try! It’s free to sign up and free to submit your books. Even if they turn down the free submission, you can always fall back on the paid option. The magazine has a great reach with bookstores and libraries, so it’s worth the effort.

Book Review: Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith #review #novel

When I first found this on the shelf, it had just come out. I was interested in unique crime fiction and this fit the bill.
I am not terribly much interested in historic Russia but the author sucked me into this world with his character. This is one of those books that you really should try. Give it 30 pages and see if you don’t also get sucked in!
My only dislike was the ending. The climax was over much too quickly. A technical flaw that hopefully the author will correct in future novels.
5 stars!
Interested in more crime fiction? Try He Drinks Poison, a gripping thriller.

Author Interview: Rich Ehisen #writechat

This interview is with Rich Ehisen, a political journalist who is working on a new book called Gen Wars: Voices of America’s Generational Culture War.

LC: Politics, politics. You have built a career writing about national and California State politics. Dish, please. Best part of covering politicians and their ilk? Worst part? How’s the free food at PR events, really? But don’t share anything that will get the men in black after you.

RE: Funny, I used to cover sports, which I thought would be my dream job. Covering politics seemed like the opposite of that. But after actually covering sports and dealing with athletes and teams, I couldn’t wait to get away from it. Politics is actually far more interesting to cover professionally. I’d rather just be a passionate fan of sports and an impartial observer and reporter of all things political. The best part is that the stuff I’m covering is important – it matters to our society. And I get paid to ask powerful people hard (but fair) questions that often challenge their positions. They don’t always answer but I get to ask. The worst part is without a doubt dealing with their flacks who try more to shield their boss from us than to help work out us being able to talk to them. Thankfully, there are not that many who operate that way these days, at least at the state level. Congress, which I have covered a little, that is a different story. ;o) I generally avoid the food at press events, lest someone accuse me of being too cozy with the powers that be – as if I could be bought off with rubbery chicken dinner. That said, cops and reporters NEVER say no to coffee.

To read some of Rich’s work, click here.

LC: You’ve been jetting around the country working on a big new project…big in the sense of what it encompasses and big in terms of what it might do on the market. Tell me more about Gen Wars: Voices of America’s Generational Cultural Clash.

RE: It’s been slower going than I would have hoped, but I’ve adopted the mindset that it will be done when it is done right. I’m notoriously impatient but rushing through really complex stuff like this generation transition we’re going through from the Boomers to the Millennials via Gen X won’t serve my purposes at all. In the book, I really want to showcase some of the people across all of these generations that are doing good work in areas that matter, and where Boomers and the two younger generations are alike and where they differ in their approach to it all. For instance, I’m planning a section on activists that profiles how activists in the Boomer generation compare to those working today from younger generations. I was at a writers conference in San Diego in January and was able to have a trio of agents look over my proposal. Two of them were pretty interested with some caveats, which I am working to address right now. So fingers crossed.

For more about this project, click here.

LC: What’s the worst thing you’ve personally done as a boomer?


RE: Sex, drugs and rock & roll, baby! Definitely spent my youth wrapped up in all three as a lifestyle. I was probably pretty typical of my late Boomer group, though.

LC: Best thing?

RE: I will say I have worked a lot harder since my 20s at not being selfish and narcissistic, which I think has been the hallmark of the Boomers. I actually find it funny when I hear a Boomer bitching about Millenials being self-absorbed. Where do they think these kids learned that behavior? Who are their parents? I made it my mission in life to raise my Millennial daughter to not be that way, so when I see 20-somethings who are selfish idiots I usually presume the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. From a practical standpoint, I have also made it a priority to save money for my retirement, which I can tell you far too many people in my age group have not done. I’ve interviewed a lot of Boomers all over the country who have no idea how or if they will ever be able to stop working. That should scare all of us, especially the Millennials and Gen Xers who will likely have to pay the bill for taking care of them.

LC: What’s the most important way Millennials can change their lives or world view?

RE: Be flexible in everything they do, and to think entrepreneurially. Not necessarily as if they are all going to start their own business, but more like they are the captains of their own ships and take responsibility for their own happiness and success. I sound all new age with that, but I really do believe that with technology there are more opportunities now than ever, but also more challenges to maximizing those opportunities. And to keep giving back at every opportunity. Life really is a team sport.

LC: Any wisdom for Gen X?

RE: Same as above, with the addition of also being willing to let your guard down a bit more. Gen X really has got screwed a bit in all this. Boomers and the Silents did a lot of things right, but we also did a lot of things wrong that Xers bore the brunt of. Subsequently, they tend to be a lot more guarded and wary. Stats show they are the hardest to market too, the least susceptible to sales pitches, etc. That’s a good thing, but they also tend to be the most cynical of the generations, which is not a good thing.

LC: When we first met, it was through a writer’s group and almost 20 years ago. Since then, you’ve evolved quite a bit, and this project seems to be an important part of that. Tell me how you decided to work on this, and what impact you think it will have on your career.

RE: This project came out of a conversation I was having with my daughter, who was 25 at the time. We were talking about some of the struggles she was having with grad school living in the big city etc. All normal stuff I some ways, but it made me think a lot about what kind of world we are leaving them. We have some really significant problems to deal with – climate change, growing wealth disparity, the absurd cost of education, etc. – that I’m not sure my generation is doing much about. I’m not sure we even can now, given how polarized we are both politically, economically and socially. That leaves it to the young ‘uns, which is a hell of a burden if you ask me. I am hoping that I can do this topic justice and inform and entertain people in the process. From there, if it opens the doors for me to do more books or another film, then I’ll be very happy.

LC: Plans for post Gen Wars?

RE: I’m really energized right now. I’m working on some new fiction, though as of this moment I’m not sure what form it will take. I’m just letting the story form and move, almost on its own, every day. It has been great. I’m also for sure going to work on more screenplays and maybe even produce another short movie.

LC: Best tip for interviewing.

RE: Be prepared but don’t be so rigid to your questions that you miss the obvious follow ups to what people say. Make them feel comfortable, look them in the eye, show them respect. You don’t have to go to coffee with them later but try to connect in some way. People always will tell you more if they like you and trust you. And always show integrity in your own work. There are times where the situation is unavoidably confrontational or tense, but most subjects will stand behind their words if you report them accurately.

LC: What does your writing space look like? If you don’t have one, where do you go to create?

RE: I’m the luckiest person alive. I work from my home office. We’re quasi-rural, so the view out my office window is a hillside with a plethora of trees, birds and the occasional deer. My desk can be a challenge – two laptops, a large monitor, etc. I’m a neat freak so sometimes that makes me crazy.

LC: Wild card: Share a crazy dream, a wildly ambitious goal, a favorite quote. Or whatever.

RE: I would love to write a great screenplay based on the main character from the fiction I am working on now, and then have that screenplay win an Oscar! Woo hoo!