This isn't a competition.
It never was, really. Very few readers only read one author. The vast majority like several authors, and the more a person likes to read, the more authors they wind up discovering, and following.
In some cases, price may be a bit prohibitive. If your book budget is $40 a month, you might have to choose between two new hardcovers, or five paperbacks. But, by and large, readers don't pick one book over another book. If they want to read them both, they eventually will.
Which brings us to authors helping authors.
If we're not in competition with one another, then it makes perfect sense to help each other out. After all, we're all in the same boat.
I do this a lot. Anyone who has ever done a booksigning with me knows that I spend a lot of time pimping my peers' books--often moreso than I pimp my own.
That said, here are some writers I'd like to share with you.
Simon Wood is a guy I've known for years. I really liked his book Working Stiffs, and you can get it now on Kindle for $2.39. But even better, if you buy this ebook, or any of Simon's ebooks, until the end of the week, he's donating all of the proceeds to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Simon obviously understands this "helping others" thing.
Tom Schreck is a friend, and we wrote a story together called Planter's Punch featuring Jack Daniels and his series character, boxer/social worker Duffy Dombrowski. The Kindle version has been out for a while, but Tom has just released the story, along with his other terrific Duffy stories, in print. Duffy to the Rescue is a great collection for those who still like dead tree books, and all proceeds go toward Basset Hound rescue.
Parnell Hall is a funny guy, and a good writer, and a singer of dubious talent. But his songs are pretty damn funny. Check out his video for King of Kindle, which features cameos by a whole slew of famous mystery authors. (You might also check out the King of Kindle Bouchercon Edition, which features a fat, bearded blogger you might recognize.) His books are even better than his videos. Try Suspense, which is only $2.99 on Kindle. Hmm, I wonder why he chose that price...
Next week I'm doing a blog interview with the multi-talented James Swain, who is burning up the Kindle charts with his thrillers. Until then, check out Jackpot, the cover art done by my guy Carl Graves, and priced on Kindle at $2.99.
Marie Simas is a friend of this blog, and her ebook Do Tampons Take Your Virginity is a memoir about what happens when you grow up in an insane Catholic family. My wife just finished reading it, and loved it. It's a bargain at $2.99. I'll be interviewing the author sometime this month.
Dating My Vibrator by Suzanne Tyrpak was terrific, and even though it isn't the type of thing I normally read (online dating disasters?) I really enjoyed it. And for 99 cents, so will you.
Blake Crouch and I go way back. We're currently working together on two projects. One is the eighth and final Jack Daniels thriller, Stirred (the sequel to Shaken.) We're also working on a follow up to Serial Uncut called Killers Uncut, which ties up loose ends while showcasing a few bad guys from Jack Daniels's past. Both Stirred and Killers Uncut (along with Shaken and Serial Uncut) feature Blake's serial killer Luther Kite, who appeared in his terrific thrillers Desert Places and Locked Doors--both now $2.99 on Kindle.
When Draculas was released two weeks ago, Blake and I went on Kindle Boards and offered to buy people's ebooks if they bought ours, as a quid pro quo gesture. Quite a few authors took us up on this. Here's a list of them all. If you're looking for new writers, these folks are the future. And they're all $3.99 or less.
Stars Rain Down by Chris J. Randolph - $2.99 - After a devastating alien invasion, the last scattered survivors are forced to employ savage and unthinkable tactics in the battle for their future. Even if they win, can humanity ever be the same?
Down the Drain by Daniel Pyle - 99 cents - Bruce has lost everyone he ever cared about—even his cat. Now, when he thinks he’s finally alone in the house, something will come clawing its way out of the plumbing to prove him wrong.
Take the Monkeys and Run by Karen Cantwell - 99 cents - When film loving suburban housewife Barbara Marr talks her two friends into some seemingly innocent Charlie’s Angels-like sleuthing, they stumble upon way more than they bargained for and uncover a piece of neighborhood history that certain people would kill to keep on the cutting room floor.
No Good Deed by Mary McDonald - 99 cents - Mark Taylor, a photographer in Chicago, discovers first hand that no good deed goes unpunished when the old camera he found during a freelance job in an Afghanistan bazaar gives him more than great photos. It triggers dreams of disasters. Tragedies that happen exactly as he envisions them.
Wishful Thinking by K. Crumley - $1.59 - One stormy night Maevis Etherwood came home and found her husband in bed with another woman... What exactly transpired afterward remained a mystery, even to Maevis herself.
Camille by Tess Oliver - 99 cents - At a time when society conforms to the strictest rules and most proper etiquette, sixteen-year-old Camille Kennecott and her guardian, Dr. Bennett, live a most unconventional life. They hunt werewolves.
Gone by Karen Fenech - 99 cents - FBI Special Agent Clare Marshall was separated from her sister Beth in childhood when their mother tried to kill them. Now Clare learns that Beth lives in the small town of Farley, South Carolina, but when she goes there to reunite with Beth, Clare discovers her sister is missing and that someone in the town is responsible for her disappearance.
Empath by Frank Zubex - 99 cents - After being shot in the cemetery, Detective Nick Crowell encounters ghosts and people with paranormal problems. In this collection of nine stories, five of which were originally published in DemonMinds from 2007 to 2008, you'll read about people who's lives have changed so drastically that they seek out Detective Crowell for help.
Blood Spring by Erik Williams - 89 cents - A husband and wife lost in the woods... A feral family that worships an ancient god... Who will make it out alive?
Love Lust and Petty Crime by Harclubs Bartag- $2.84 - Emmet Storch was an unemployed sponger who thought he had no calling in life. All that changed when he landed a job in the call centre at the monolithic Star Insurance where, from the very first day, he was magnificent.
Pain by Harry Shannon - $2.99 - A Top Secret virus infects the water supply of a mountain town. Two mercenary soldiers, a retiring doctor and a handful of terrified patients struggle to defend a remote ER against a mob of the living dead. Through one long, harrowing night the living will learn there are many different kinds of... PAIN.
Failing Test by J.M. Pierce - 99 cents - You know him, but you can't remember his name. He is the one that is always there, in the background, all but invisible to those roaming the hallways. What if he had a secret? What if it was a secret that even he didn't know?
Reining In by Dawn Judd - 99 cents - Khalida is a five thousand year old vampire. As technology and national security become more prominent, it becomes harder and harder for her to hide her secret from the world. In order to remain undetected by humans, she creates a network of people whose only job is to hide her identity.
The Usurper by Cliff Ball - $2.39 - Ever wonder what would happen if our worst fears were realized and we elected someone who was willing to destroy the USA, even if he was destroyed himself? The Usurper is that novel. It is a fictional account of what would happen if the Soviet Union and KGB were given the chance to take down the United States from within.
Gnelfs by Sidney Williams - $2.99 - Cries in the night from her daughter, Heaven, are just the beginning for Gabrielle Harris. What seem to be nightmares about Heaven's favorite cartoon characters soon lead Gab to a stranger paranormal conspiracy focused on revenge.
The Knight of Death by Brendan Carroll - $2.99 - An apparent kidnapping and rape become the first steps in a mystical journey for the Chevalier du Morte when a routine mission precipitates a spiritual fall from grace. As the tables turn on the abductors, the immortal Knight sinks in a corrupt quagmire of sin while fighting to recover his lost purpose and identity.
Space Junque by L.K. Rigel - 99 cents - Char Meadowlark accepts an invitation to visit the Imperial Space Station from Mike Augustine, her dead sister's fiancé. While she's in orbit eco-terrorists start a planet-wide war.
Fruitbasket From Hell by Jason Krumbine - $2.39 - My name’s Alex Cheradon. I’m a private investigator. I do NOT slay vampires, battle demons, fight zombies or vanquish evil spirits. In fact, you know what? Let’s just strike a line through the whole supernatural genre and call it a big no-no for me, okay?
Daughters by Consuelo Saah Baehr - $2.99 - In this sweeping, uncommonly stirring narrative spanning 1883 to 1957, Baehr chronicles the lives of three Palestinian Christian women: Miriam Mishwe, her daughter Nadia and Nadia's adopted child, Nijmeheach fated to struggle with the competing claims of loyalty to family and love for a man.
The Fall: An Undead Apocalypse by Robert J. Duperre - $2.99 - An ancient evil, trapped in the ruins of a lost Mayan temple for centuries, has been unleashed. It takes the form of a deadly virus, one that causes violent insanity in the living and the recently departed to rise and walk.
Top Ten by Ryne Douglas Pearson - 99 cents - A killer who believes himself an artist of unmatched talent is incensed when he is placed last on the FBI's most wanted list, and begins killing off those fugitives above him, each in a twisted manner that serves his creative vision.
Swallow by Tonya Plank - 89 cents - Sophie Hegel is a shy New York lawyer from small-town Florence Arizona, known not for the Renaissance but for housing a large prison. She's just graduated from Yale Law School and landed her first job when, one evening she feels a fist-like ball form at the base of her throat.
A Dance of Cloaks by David Dalglish - $2.99 - Thren Felhorn is the greatest assassin of his time. Marshalling the thieves' guilds under his control, he declares war against the Trifect, an allegiance of wealthy and powerful nobles. Aaron Felhorn has been groomed since birth to be Thren’s heir. Sent to kill the daughter of a priest, Aaron instead risks his own life to protect her from the wrath of his guild. In doing so, he glimpses a world beyond poison, daggers, and the iron control of his father.
Not What She Seems by Victorine E. Lieske - 99 cents - Steven Ashton, a billionaire from New York, and Emily Grant, on the run from the law... and when they meet he can’t help falling for her. What he doesn’t know is that interfering in her life will put his own life in danger.
Need to Know by Christine Merrill - $2.39 - The new man in Liz Monahan’s life is a rogue secret agent who’s trying to kill her. But at least he’s single.
The Heretic by Joseph Nassise - $2.99 - In this internationally bestselling series from Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild Award nominee Joseph Nassise, the ancient Templar Order has been resurrected as a secret combat arm of the Vatican, charged with defending mankind from the supernatural enemies that threaten them at every turn.
The Ways of Khrem by D. Nathan Hilliard - $3.99 - Cargill the Bookseller lives a quiet life, in a modest house, overlooking the vast city of Khrem...a magical metropolis of cavernous streets, lofty spires, and dark secrets. His life is turned upside down when Captain Wilhelm Drayton of the City Watch arrives at Cargill's doorstep and confronts him with his criminal past.
Powerless by Jason Letts - 99 cents - Mira Ipswich couldn't have ever known the startling difference that separates her from the rest of humanity. But when she discovers a strange anomaly in the midst of her seclusion, her parents are forced to reveal she exists in a world where everyone is imbued with a wondrous natural gift. Everyone except herself that is.
Asylum by Erik Lynd - $2.99 - Forced into a psychiatric hospital by uncaring parents, a teenage boy must master the strange power within himself to overcome the horror gathering in the shadows.
Broken Wings by Sandra Edwards - 99 cents - Rio Laraquette thought the legend was nothing more than an enchanted tale about star-crossed lovers who left behind a fortune. That is, until she figures out that she—in a past life—was the culprit who stole a shipment of gold and silver and buried it somewhere in the hills of northern Nevada.
Courtesan by D.A. Boulter - $2.99 - She needed a ship to escape pursuers; he a companion on a trip to the stars. The deal seemed straight-forward, but neither told the other everything.
eBully by Dave Conifer - 99 cents - Vice Principal Steve Lukather is desperate. Just like last year, an internet bully is terrorizing one of his students at Lakeland Middle School.
Cameo the Assassin by Dawn McCullough-White- 99 cents - Cameo, an alias for Gwen, "the thrall of a vampire," has two masters to serve. One is Wick, the aging, spell-casting head of the Association of Assassins, who assigns missions to the battle-scarred Cameo. The other is Haffef, Cameo's vampire "Master," who years ago rescued her from certain death after her vicious rape and beating and a deadly attack upon her younger sister.
White Seed by Paul Clayton - $2.39 - White Seed hews closely to the record of Sir Walter Raleigh's second doomed attempt to plant the British flag in Virginia. The depiction of the colony's physical and moral disintegration between 1587 and 159o evokes a harrowing sense of human fallibility. Readers will find this saga, which soon achieves page-turner velocity, to be both a dandy diversion and an entertaining education.
Bound by Blood by Kimberly Hoyt & Danielle Bourdon - $2.99 - He was willing to give up eternity to have her, but would he die to keep her?
October Breezes by Martia Rachel Hooley - $2.99 - Skye Williams knows everything there is to know about mistrust: Dad skipped out when she was five, leaving Mom with an angry daughter and an upside-down mortgage.
One Insular Tahiti by Thea Atkinson - $2.99 - Luke MacIsaac is dead, but not restfully so. In his watery afterlife he takes notice of an infant girl struggling to survive her birth. He feels a peculiar attachment to this girl and revisits her birth over and over again knowing she can survive if she is given a purpose. He wills her to be his mother in his next incarnation.
The Summoning Fire by David Michael - $3.99 - All Reese Howard has left is pain. Pain and a pump-action shotgun.
Cries in the Dark by P.A. Woodburn - $2.99 - Two prostitutes vanish. Chimps are mysteriously missing from a primate sign lab. Is there a possible link to a biomedical research facility? While premed student Alex Buchanan confronts her new-found ability to communicate telepathically with animals, the body toll mounts.
The Kinshield Legacy by K.C. May - $2.99 - A mysterious stone tablet with five magical gems has sat abandoned in a cave for two hundred years. The kingdom is in ruins, with only warrant knights to keep the peace. But then, the gems in the tablet, one by one, disappear.
We Interrupt This Date by L.C. Evans - $2.39 - Since her divorce a year ago, Susan Caraway has gone through the motions of life, feeling at best mildly depressed. Now she is finally coming out of her shell. Just when she decides on a makeover and a new career, her family members call on her for crisis assistance.
Forbidden The Stars by Valmore Daniels - $2.99 - At the end of the 21st century, a catastrophic accident in the asteroid belt has left two surveyors dead. There is no trace of their young son, Alex Manez, or of the asteroid itself.
The White Hairs by Noah K. Mullette-Gillman - $2.99 -The White Hairs is a work of spiritual mythology. Somewhere on a white and snowy mountain, is a young creature learning how to leave his body and travel the world inside of the wind.
Jenny Pox by J.L. Bryan - $2.39 - Jenny Morton is a quiet small-town girl from South Carolina whose touch spreads a deadly supernatural plague--she can't touch anyone for long without killing them.
Monster Mashup by M.J.A. Ware - $2.99 - Monsters, magic, goblins, zombies, and more. Be prepared to sleep with the lights on. This collection of nine short stories will have you looking over your shoulder, avoiding mirrors. and jumping at the slightest sound.
Out of Time by Monique Martin - $2.99 - When a mysterious accident sends Professor Simon Cross and his assistant, Elizabeth West, back in time to 1920s New York, they find it's more than a the world of Prohibition and speakeasies. It's a world where the underground is run by the underworld, and where vampires and mobsters vie for power in the seedy underbelly of Jazz Age Manhattan.
A Little Girl In My Room by Claire Farrell - 99 cents - A Little Girl in my Room & Other Stories is a collection of dark flash fiction by upcoming author, Claire Farrell. This book is Rated R: Adults Only. Some may find the themes addressed disturbing.
The Book of Biff by Chris Hallbeck - 99 cents - The Book of Biff is a single panel comic about spaghetti, time travel and toast. The strip centers around a child-like mad scientist named Biff who may be part cockroach or possibly an alien.
Lonely is the Soldier by Jeffry S. Hepple - $2.84 - Follow the career of 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta officer R.A. Lincoln from Delta selection through the start of the War on Terror.
Night Touch by John C. Hamilton - $2.99 - Christopher Price roams the dark streets of Manhattan, terrified of his past, searching for a future. Dr. Willard Pull: dentist and concerned citizen. Blood lust sends them on a collision course. One of them is a serial killer. The other is a vampire.
Northwoods Deep by Joel Arnold - $2.99 - Deep in the north woods, two sisters become lost; one stalked by a murderous ex-husband, the other unable to rid herself of the leeches that appear mysteriously on her skin. All are drawn to an old, dilapidated cabin. Inside lives an old man with awful urges, accompanied by a Rottweiler possessed by something…unnatural. But it’s what resides beneath the cabin that they should really be worried about.
In the Mood by Ellen Fisher - 99 cents - Jude Patterson is a sexy but shy romance novelist who discovers the flowery language he's always used in historical love scenes doesn't translate well to contemporary romances. Alyssa Stone is a beautiful fan who offers to help him learn to write better love scenes. Jude is fascinated by Alyssa, whose confident and sensual demeanor conceals a very vulnerable interior. Before long, he's the one showing her how to write love scenes... and maybe even how to write happy endings.
The Adventures of Whatley Tupper A Choose Your Own Adventure by Rudolf Kerkhoven & Daniel Pitts - $2.99 - Whatley Tupper is an A-grade janitor at a B-grade university about to become entwined in C-grade fiction! Yes, there is something in the air tonight... Adventure! Romance! Carbon Monoxide!
So there you are. Quid pro quo in action.
And to the authors I've listed here, I encourage you to link to this blog on your blogs (or on Twitter, Facebook, or wherever.) We're all in the same boat, so we all should be rowing.