Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Origin 99¢ ebook Charity Experiment

ORIGIN, the technothriller novel I dropped the price on a weeks ago, is currently at #103 in the Kindle store.

Naturally, I'd like to crack the Top 100.

There's a charity called First Book, which buys books for children who don't have any.

If ORIGIN does indeed make it into the Top 100, I'll donate $500 to First Book.

So I'm asking you to help me out. Please spread the word, link to this blog post, buy ORIGIN, gift copies for friends, etc.

I'm curious if a concentrated push at this late stage in the game will work to get it on the list.

The novel is a cross between Jurassic Park and The Exorcist. Here's the pitch:

Thriller writer J.A. Konrath, author of the Lt. Jack Daniels series, digs into the vaults and unearths a technohorror tale from the depths of hell...

1906 - Something is discovered by workers digging the Panama Canal. Something dormant. Sinister. Very much alive.

2009 - Project Samhain. A secret underground government installation begun 103 years ago in New Mexico. The best minds in the world have been recruited to study the most amazing discovery in the history of mankind. But the century of peaceful research is about to end.

BECAUSE IT JUST WOKE UP.


Book Description:

When linguist Andrew Dennison is yanked from his bed by the Secret Service and taken to a top secret facility in the desert , he has no idea he's been brought there to translate the words of an ancient demon.

He joins pretty but cold veterinarian Sun Jones, eccentric molecular biologist Dr. Frank Belgium, and a hodge-podge of religious, military, and science personnel to try and figure out if the creature is, indeed, Satan.

But things quickly go bad, and very soon Andy isn't just fighting for his life, but the lives of everyone on earth...

ORIGIN by J.A. Konrath
All hell is about the break loose. For real.

So if you visit this blog and are helped by it, I ask you to spread the word.

Thanks.

131 comments:

kathie said...

I'm on it!!! Can't wait to read and it's such a great cause. Thanks for giving.

Stephen T. Harper said...

You got it, Joe. Actually, I've been meaning to buy this one for a while anyway. Love the premise.

Meghan Ciana said...

Downloaded!

Joe Konrath said...

Thanks.

My guess is Origin has enough momentum to make it to the Top 100 anyway, but First Book is a great cause.

Matthew P. Mayo said...

Just bought it, and I look forward to tucking into it.

C. Pinheiro said...

Got it. Good luck, Joe.

Donald Wells said...

It sounds like a great cause.
Consider it bought.
Anything for the Indie Elvis.

S.J. Harris said...

Hmm. What if we could get a bunch of authors together to match Joe's contribution--IF their books make it to the top 100?

Now THAT would be an experiment.

Traci Hohenstein said...

I'm in. And will donate $100 to First Book as well if Origin hits top 100. I figure it's the least I can do. This blog has helped me as an author tremendously and the First Book sounds like a great cause.

rbt said...

I see you owe them $500.

# Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #99 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

* #1 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Horror > General
* #16 in Books > Mystery & Thrillers > Thrillers > General
* #22 in Books > Mystery & Thrillers > Thrillers > Suspense

--
Robert Bruce Thompson

Norma Beishir said...

A good book for a good cause. Can't beat that.

Veronica said...

I wanted to show my neighbor how cool my Kindle is. His wife has a Sony and it takes me 20+ minutes to figure out how to load a book on to it EVERY TIME she she buys new books. (Thank God she has started buying 3 at a time...more time between struggling with the Sony) So, I bought your book to show him how the Kindle works. He was amazed and will probably get her a Kindle for Mother's Day.

:) all around.

Veronica
The Choice for Consciousness

Coral Russell said...

Bought and then Locke was right next to it, so bought that too...

12 Worlds is also doing a charity anthology in April - all proceeds go to Reading is Fundamental.

It's neat to see this great stuff going on!

S.J. Harris said...

Congrats, Joe!

I'll go one step further. From now until the end of April, I will donate all profits from Journey Into Darkness: A Kim Journey Thriller to First Book, regardless its ranking.

I'll use the open slot on Cover Art Review tomorrow to spread the word.

William Van Winkle said...

My wife is the one with the Kindle, but I love the charity cause, so I gifted it to her. Maybe I'll recruit you another die-hard fan in the process. :-)

Anna Murray said...

Hmm. What if we could get a bunch of authors together to match Joe's contribution--IF their books make it to the top 100?

I'm in. Put TAKEDOWN in the top 100 and $500 goes to First Book.

kathie said...

Okay...bought it, tweeted it, facebooked it...check, check, check to FIRST BOOK.

http://kshoop.com
The Last Letter--May 1, 2011

Rahma Krambo said...

Sounds like a great cause. Tweeting now. Still waiting for a Kindle.

Daryl Sedore said...

I'm in. Bought it.

Put "The Warning" by Jonas Saul (my pseudonym) into the top 100 and I'll match it too.

In the meantime, off to learn more about this charity...

Great job Joe.

Connor Dix said...

GOT IT!

I was going to read one of your books next, but didn't know which one.

Helping kids? SOLD!

Dave said...

No nook love? Or just an Amazon thing?

Support libraries in their boycott.

Joanie said...

Got it

Chris said...

Sorry, but I agree with Bowerbird on this.

It would be nice if you guys donated without the disclaimer of achieving a particular sales rank. A ranking that inevitably translates as accelerated author income.

That action makes the effort seem disingenuous and financially opportunistic. Sadly, it also looks like blatant self-promotion.

That's just me though.

However, the charity is worthwhile and will no doubt appreciate any donation it gets. So good luck to everyone, I guess.

Joe Konrath said...

but hey, there's nothing like
the appearance of being
a great humanitarian to
get the retweeters humming,
is there?


You're welcome to donate $500 yourself, but I think you won't.

And congrats. I'm not ignoring you anymore.

Now I'm limiting your comments to once per post.

Anything beyond that, and I delete everything.

Congrats. You've annoyed me to the point where I've become a censor. Feel free to rant about it elsewhere.

In case you're wondering, that's where your other comments went.

And to everyone else, let's be nice and not comment on this further. You can send me your "Thanks, it's about time you shut him up!" praise via email. Let's keep them out of the comments here.

Joe Konrath said...

And bowerbird, no more comments today. Or I may get pissy and delete everything you've ever written.

Joe Konrath said...

It would be nice if you guys donated without the disclaimer of achieving a particular sales rank. A ranking that inevitably translates as accelerated author income.

First Book is a great cause. Feel free to send them a few hundred bucks. You'll feel better, and it won't be disingenuous. Then you could feel even more superior to me than you already feel.

T.J. Dotson said...

"That action makes the effort seem disingenuous and financially opportunistic. Sadly, it also looks like blatant self-promotion.."

I disagree. In fact I think its a smart move. Does the Author benefit? Sure he does. But what exactly is wrong with that?

Big businesses do stuff like this all the time. They even hire PR people to manage the efforts. So why can't a small business person (i.e an Author) do the same?

AuthorVStone said...

This book has my favorite cover of all your titles. I'm picking up a copy, no matter of the fact you passed the century mark. And good on you for the donation.

Joe Konrath said...

$500 donated to a worthy cause.

http://www.jakonrath.com/firstbook.jpg

Thanks to all who bought Origin and helped spread the word.

This is also a good time to tell readers that from now one, my blog will be troll free.

Disagreeing with me is fine. I encourage that.

Insulting anyone for any reason, me included, and I'll happily bitchslap you out of here.

This is my house. Behave or you won't be invited back.

Fran Yoakum Veal said...

This book sounds freaking awesome! I love that the money is going to charity. Anything that will get kids reading.

Karen Woodward said...

Love the book Joe, just my cup of tea. Love that money is being raised for charity!

Daryl Sedore said...

Disagreeing with me is fine. I encourage that.

Insulting anyone for any reason, me included, and I'll happily bitchslap you out of here.


Love, love, love this!

I was in retail for 20 years. I kicked a few dozen people out of my store during those years. Same reason.

This seems to be the only way to deal with people who have difficulty understanding debate and end up using insults as their platform instead of arguing their side with respect.

Sonia Rumzi said...

Awesome cause and a bitchslap, all in a days work. Congrats, now #92...

Fran Yoakum Veal said...

I left my last comment before reading everyone else's. To the one or two that are passing judgement because Joe made the donational conditional on making it to the top 100, I say get a grip. Who cares how the charity gets the money as long as they get it?

To Joe, I say, thanks for limiting the bowerbird crap. I usually just lurk here without posting, but I've been sick of that tripe for some time.

And since we are talking about getting kids to read, my sister has a "reading dog". He's a beautiful German Shepherd named Unkas that she takes to school so that the kids can read to him. He does not correct them, he does not judge them, and he does not intimidate them...he just listens. Kind of cool that he was named for a character from "Last of the Mohichans", too.

Chris said...

First Book is a great cause. Feel free to send them a few hundred bucks. You'll feel better, and it won't be disingenuous. Then you could feel even more superior to me than you already feel.

Lots of worthy causes out there, Joe. Many are very personal to some of us.

But just because I point to the fact that you have tied a donation to a ranking incentive certainly doesn't mean I consider myself a superior human being.

People take others to task on this stuff all the time. I'm saying that you're creating a perception of self-gain.

Again, that's my own perception. Others no doubt disagree - probably even with the same tone of comment you chose.

Joe Konrath said...

I don't like being mean, but I've had several complaints, and I'm just sick of the constant parade of negative idiots who get off of being insulting.

If you want to start an "I Hate Konrath Blog" and circle-jerk with your loser friends, all three of them, have at it.

You want to be a dick on my blog? Seriously? You really expect me to put up with that?

Part of being a public figure means dealing with public opinion. Public opinion can be critical.

I'm fine with that. But I'm not going to ask you to go out for a beer later. And I'm not going to allow you to spew your BS on my blog.

Enough already.

Peter Hart said...

Just bought it. Glad to.

JM Brady said...

Made the purchase. Great author. Great cause. Thanks so much for your blog.

Joe Konrath said...

Lots of worthy causes out there, Joe. Many are very personal to some of us.

So you support the cause, and the donation, but question the intent behind the donation?

And you don't find that a bit odd?

I asked people to buy ORIGIN. In return, I gave a charity $500.

How is that different from any other company donating a portion of sales to charity?

Does the charity benefit?

How is a helpful deed suddenly unhelpful if it also benefits the do-gooder?

But just because I point to the fact that you have tied a donation to a ranking incentive certainly doesn't mean I consider myself a superior human being.

Then explain to me why you pointed it out.

You voiced your opinion in a public forum. That's fine. I like that you did it with tact, and continue to be civil.

But your disapproval of my actions serves a single purpose, and it isn't altruistic. It was you saying, "Joe isn't being generous, he's just self-promoting. True generosity isn't conditional."

Correct me if I'm reading you wrong, but that's the read I got. And it sounds to me like you're looking down upon my actions.

Which prompts me to ask, "When was the last time you donated $500 to charity?"

If you have, and kept quiet about you, you have the right to take the moral high ground.

If not, you're in a glass house, throwing stones.

Chris said...

Joe, I like your blog.

I like nearly everything you have to say.

I've been a keen follower of your online stuff for many years.

And rarely do I attack you. That's not beneficial, nor is blowing hot air up your arse and telling you how good you are.


My original comment was meant merely an opinion.

If I was sitting in the pub with you I still would have said, 'look mate, maybe you should lose the incentive bit on that post'.

I'm certainly not saying you're a fuckhead or a disingenuous prick... (it APPEARS disingenuous - to me).

All good. All done.

Coral Russell said...

Wow, didn't see this coming. Honestly, Mr. Konrath's offer was no different than any other I've seen and participated in this past month. If his book doesn't fit, than there are others on here offering as well-if you're a writer you want people to be literate. I thought it was another great community effort. LOL bitchslap and a good cause all in one post!

Matthew W. Grant said...

I think it is a great idea to get a group of authors together and make a pledge to donate to the charity if the books reach the top 100 Amazon list.

Here are some reasons why:

1) The charity could earn a lot of money.

2) This is a popular and standard way to make sales for a business (independent authors in this case) and to generate money for a charity at the same time. Examples are numerous including Box Tops for Education, Labels for Education, and the hundreds of products branded with pink ribbons that donate a portion of proceeds to the Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

3) A group of authors doing this would generate a lot of publicity in regular ebook circles and beyond which in turn supports higher sales and more money for the charity.

4) The publicity would also raise the profile of independent authors in general. It is something that could become an annual event.

5) Maybe Amazon would even kick in a donation and/or assist in promotion since the sales are being directed towards Amazon's site.

I would definitely participate with my novels Secrets Of Slaters Falls and Zach's Secret.

Chris said...

Joe,

I guess it was the "If Origin does indeed make it into the Top 100, I'll donate $500 to First Book" bit that didn't gel with me.

You're right, lots of companies donate with a product sale. I've got no argument there which probably doesn't do much to support my argument here.

That said, I support your effort. It just felt like an 'If I win, they too will win' game. And 'if I don't, ah, fuck em'.

I'm happy to roll over on this. No big deal.

As for me donating: No, I don't support this particular charity. And no, you're right my last donation wasn't $500. Only 100 bucks for flood relief and 200 for Xmas adopt-a-family.

So, yeah, I certainly could aim higher. I'm not Mr Social Benefactor that's for sure.

Joe Konrath said...

So, yeah, I certainly could aim higher.

Actually, I concede the moral high ground. You're a class act, and you stand where you sit.

I respect that, and respect your opinion.

jtplayer said...

Wow, lotta fireworks here tonight.

Good move Joe on the BB thing. It was a long time coming.

As for the donation, I say good for you. I'll admit I thought the amount was kinda low, for a guy who spends hundreds on a bottle of beer. And who talks about how rich he is all the time ;-)

But who am I to judge?

Giving to charity is a good thing, and in times like this it's best to give that cynical voice a rest. Besides, it's really a win-win. You got the ranking, they got some money. It's all good baby!

Peter Hart said...

This seems as good a place as any to tell all that I have been a reader here (though only for a short while), and on other blogs (for a little longer), because I am starting a serious push into the writing-and-self-publishing life. I much appreciate all of the help that Joe gives out here on his site, along with that of a few gracious others on theirs: Guido Henkel, Zoƫ Winters, Elizabeth Castro, April Hamilton, Amanda Hocking, et al.

I have also seen, in a surprisingly short span of time, a recurrence of vicious, disparaging, condescending, rude, and down-right vulgar posts, on various blogs, from a small number of very loud and stupid people.

I have just started my own blog to discuss my writing journey and to post obviously much-needed information on the basic rules of good writing (something of which those loudmouths often seem to lack, as they post their badly-constructed, poorly-punctuated rants).

My blog is called “Writing Kind” and it’s here on Blogger. There’s not much there, yet, and I’m still tweaking the design; I just started it tonight (because it’s my birthday).

If you want to come by and discuss something or learn something or tell us all something about writing, be my guest. However, be advised ahead of time: I, like Joe, will not put up with any nonsense.

Gabriella said...

I only wish I were an author to join in on a group thing, but I'm not yet so I bought your book.
Joe..I'm new to your site and these past few weeks I've noticed that guy (we're not suppose to talk about) and I wondered why you allowed him on here. I only read 2 of his posts, reading his gave me a headache.
I just wanted to say, I'm learning a ton from you and the other authors on here. It's nice to not have to see that kind of distraction anymore. I know you said not to talk about it on here but I can't figure out how to email you. *L*
Thanks again for all the help you give on here.

Selena Kitt said...

I feel schizophrenic or something reading these comments after the originals have been deleted... :)

My father was severely dyslexic and never learned to read and write. Literacy and getting kids to read is a very very worthy cause. Kudos, Joe.

My daughter has inherited her grandfather's disability, but because I write for a living now, I can afford to have her tutored by a specialist in dyslexia. She's gone from reading at a 1st grade level to a 3rd grade one in less than a year. She's really READING now, and finally enjoying it. My father never experienced that, and it's sad. I wish there had been more programs around like First Book when he was young. They didn't have the money (or the know-how) to do anything for him. Instead he made potholders on looms because the teachers labeled him "unteachable." My father grew up poor and stayed poor his whole life because he couldn't read.

Now his daughter is writing books for a living and his granddaughter is learning to read with the same disability that kept him prisoner.

Paying it forward - always a good idea.

TK Richardson said...

This is a charity after my own heart! (My charity donates books to kids in foster care.) I'd love to help out and spread the word. I'll even buy a copy myself. I'm sure you'll make the top. :)

Library999Cat said...

It's on my Kindle. Just wish the audio version was available now. I'll start reading and if its as good as it looks I'll be back for the audio in Jan.

I'm all for books for kids.

Cathy Neumueller

Joanie said...

Joe,

I'm sure you know this already but you're also on the Movers and Shakers list.

Joanie

jtplayer said...

You'll be happy to know I just bought my first Joe Konrath book ever. And an ebook at that.

Holy shit times are changing ;-)

Origin for 99 cents?

How can I go wrong?

T.J. Dotson said...

Holy Crap Joe!

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #88 Paid in Kindle Store
#1 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Horror > General

#15 in Books > Mystery & Thrillers > Thrillers > General

#19 in Books > Mystery & Thrillers > Thrillers > Suspense


Maybe you should offer to donate another $500 if you make it to #1 in the top 100!!!

jack said...

Wow, can somebody open a window? It is too full of negativity in here!

I bought my first Konrath book today as well. Actually about 1 minute after you tweeted it. What I figured was "Hey, I spend 1$ and $500 goes to a worthwhile charity!? Deal!" cause at a rank of 103 on the list you probably sell 10 and your their already. So from what i figure, you kinda lost money there. So hell, I think you are one hell of an awesome man giving money to such a worthwhile cause. Plus I get to read a NOVEL for $0.99 Don't listen to the nay sayers. You are alright in my book, and thanks for cleaning house finally. It was getting hard to breath in here.

Joe Konrath said...

Thanks to everyone who is bought it.

I'll admit I thought the amount was kinda low, for a guy who spends hundreds on a bottle of beer.

You may be right. Maybe I should redo the thing, and offer $1000 if I make it into the Top 20.

What does everything think? Yes or no?

jack said...

I like the way you think. I for one would not mind a businessman making money on a humanitarian mission. Actually i may gift a few copies to see that happen.

Gabriella said...

Go for it Joe!
I know 6 people at work I will order it for, for their Kindles.I'll email Amazon and ask them how to do it, unless somebody here can tell me how to do that.

Douglas Dorow said...

Buying cuz I need another Konrath on my kindle and it's a great cause.

Maybe this gesture will spark others to think of how they can help promote reading with kids as well!

S.J. Harris said...

Go for it, Joe!

Depressingly, I haven't sold a single copy since I made my pledge.

Come on, people. If I sell ten copies in April, First Book gets twenty bucks. If I sell a million copies in April, First Book gets $2,000,000.

$2.04 of the $2.99 price tag goes to charity. Where else is that even possible?

I'll go on record now with another pledge: If I sell at least 1000 copies in April, the drive will continue through May.

T.J. Dotson said...

You may be right. Maybe I should redo the thing, and offer $1000 if I make it into the Top 20.

What does everything think? Yes or no?


I'm voting yes. I also re-tweeted your original pledge!

Gary Ponzo said...

Done, Joe.
Nice premise by the way.

Gabriella said...

S.J. Harris...yes you did.
I just bought a copy from you. :)

S.J. Harris said...

Thanks, Gabriella! You just bought a copy of my book for yourself, and at the same time donated enough to buy a book for a disadvantaged kid.

Joe Konrath said...

I bought one, SJ.

Gabriella said...

You're very welcome S.J.!
I love what Joe does in this blog. I'm sure I sound like the complete newb that I am, but I do love this site and am learning sooo much from it.

Joe..I know you're busy, but I finally figured out how to email you and sent you one a few minutes ago. I hope you get a minute to read it. I should have signed it Gabriella but forgot to.

jack said...

See look at that. Konrath profits from an act of giving. S.J., I just bought yours as well. I hope, from the bottom of my heart, that both of you get a much larger audience and make 5 million this year. This is both sound business and generosity. why we have to see things from such a negative angle all the time... I will never figure that out. Life is so much more complicated than black and white. But this is white, no matter how you paint it.

LT said...

Yo Joe, as unpopular as it is to admit, iBooks is where I do most of my reading and purchasing, but most of your stuff is smissing from that store. Any reason why?

Laters said...

Bought it.

By the way Joe, I'm slowly making my way through your Jack Daniels series. Why did you stop?

Any plans for another series?

Ty Hutchinson said...

I got one of yours S.J.

David H. said...

Purchased & downloaded, I look forwarded to reading it on the way home from work, and supporting your nominated charity.

Dave

Joe Konrath said...

iBooks? You mean the Apple iBookstore?

All of my stuff is available there. Search for Konrath or Kilborn.

I also have a lot of books on iTunes as apps.

Joe Konrath said...

By the way Joe, I'm slowly making my way through your Jack Daniels series. Why did you stop?

The 8th Jack book, STIRRED, is co-written with Blake Crouch and will be out this year.

I may write more Jack novels some day. In the meantime, she's in a lot of short stories, and is a supporting character in my upcoming spy novel FLEE.

J.M.Cornwell said...

I think this is a wonderful experiment and the charity well deserving. What better way to get the word out about reading than by reading. Bravo!

John said...

Joe,

Done and downloaded.

Excellent approach - writing is a business, after all.

Cheers,

John West

Robin Sullivan said...

I personally think Origin would have made it even without this - I've been watching it climb steadily since the price drop.

Bought my copy and kudos Joe for a creative idea and for helping out a worthy organization.

Robin | Write2Publish | Michael J. Sullivan's Writings

Robin Sullivan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Archangel said...

having hard time reading on a kindle cause cant see the light gray on this 1st generation so well, but after the operation, will likely be able. BUT, I bought from B and N today, your The List in trade paper, Joe. You write a wicked dialogue, very distinguishable from the Jack books. That's not easy.

Re trolls, as moderator on a political news blog for last five years ...I admire your style for keeping the site clear. Huffpo this week also created a new comments policy I've been watching. Finally put my foot down this week too about all trolliana. No mas. Warned and warned-- and with respect. Now its 'warn' without the 'n' if that's what's needed. There is a poof! key on the keyboard I've discovered.

Re your offer--both of them-- to donate, I can only quote William Shakespeare's sister: Jealousy doth come dressed as a demeaning squaff. I dont know what a squaff is, but I think it's an edwardian word for 'troll'. Ok, I admit, just wanted to make you smile

thanks Joe. I thought your donation idea was just fine. We have La Sociedad de Guadalupe which is our non profit that contributes to adult literacy these last 20 years, (like Selena, but in different time, I come from people who could not read or write. They were wise in other ways, but as Selena said, so sadly locked away)... anyway, I can vouch that ANY money given to ANY non-profit raised in ANY way that will not get us all in legal trouble is most graciously received. When you're a 501.c.3, esp in these times, believe me you beat the bushes not twice but ten times in order to keep bringing aid to others.

Care to make that 5k for top 5? Actually think you've been more than generous already.

dr.cpe

S.J. Harris said...

Thanks Joe, Jack, and Ty!

Tim Myers said...

Great idea, Joe! I love the idea of supporting First Book with book sales. I'm going to make a donation myself.

I bought my copy of Origin, and will encourage others as well!

As authors, if we don't support new readers any way we can, where are they going to come from?

I first wanted to write because I loved to read, and I'm willing to bet every writer out there shares this trait. Now I've got 26 books with legacy, and 60 on Kindle.

Thanks for the positive energy today!

Michelle Muto said...

Consider it done! Downloaded. Wasn't just a charity thing either. I actually like the premise.

The Book of Lost Souls

nwrann said...

I think the criticism of Konrath's donation is completely unwarranted since the book was moving into the top 100 anyway. It's unlikely that he sold $500 worth to move it from #103 to #99.

And it has given far more publicity to First Book than if he had simply tweeted "Just made a $500 donation to First Book"

I plan to release my first two books in about a month and another 2 by the end of the year. Every copy sold will include a 10% donation to an animal care charity (either ASPCA or a local no-kill shelter). Konrath's "experiment" has now inspired me to include a ranking incentive with a bigger donation tied to rankings. which will hopefully increase the local media publicity for the charity.

Coolkayaker1 said...

If a book routinely retailed for, say, $4.99. And you dropped the price to 99 cents for charity, could you tax deduct the other four dollars as a charitable contribution? That’d net you, esp in your new tax bracket (something tells me you’ll vote Republican at the next election), a write off of 35% Fed, 15.3% Medicare/SS tax (I assume you’re paying both employer and employee side of it as a personal business), and the 5% IL state income tax… total 55%. So, 55% of 4 bucks is, what, $21.15 or something.

Just thinking outside the box for you. I have no idea because, admittedly, no one is getting the $4.

Certainly, your $500 is deductible.
Hey, sometime it’d be nice to hear what your taxes are like as a self-published, independent author. My calculations have you paying about 55% in good old Illinois plus Federal.

Timely, as it’s tax season, and I think personally that few understand the tax burden of the self-employed. Your candor may help others put self-employment in perspective that way. Your candor is very informative, Joe. Thanks.

Coolkayaker1 said...

$2.15 per book

TK Kenyon said...

I just saw it #77, and I'll bet my click pushes you higher! Congrats and pay up!

TK Kenyon

Patricia McCallum said...

Great idea Joe, I'm sure it will succeed!
:)

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

You got it, Joe. Going to buy it right now.

Jason said...

Definitely yes to the $1000 donation for a top 20 Origin spot. I'll spread the word to help make it a reality.

I loved the book - it was the first I read of your pre-Jack so called unpublishable books. Great concept, great delivery, great story altogether. I just hope that the rumored sequel to Origin & The List (called...The Nine?) sees the light of day sometime soon. What do you say Joe? Just write it. You've got nothing else in the works after all...

Still working on my own first book. It's a brainy thriller about zoo animals on the loose at a college...called HIPPOCAMPUS.

;-)

Garry M. Graves said...

...bb dumping past due, thanks. I'm in on Origin...however, am thinking it needed no push from a blog post or charity promise...truly your heart is big JK; this today, the visiting authors, the massive resource of 'Newbie' for publishing, etc. All good and as a reader here for over a year, very typical Konrath. Thanks Again for being you.

Sam said...

I think it's a great way to promote this charity.

But if 500 kids receive a copy of "Origin," it's going to scare the beelzebub out of them. ;-)

rbt said...

But your disapproval of my actions serves a single purpose, and it isn't altruistic. It was you saying, "Joe isn't being generous, he's just self-promoting. True generosity isn't conditional."

Correct me if I'm reading you wrong, but that's the read I got. And it sounds to me like you're looking down upon my actions.

Which prompts me to ask, "When was the last time you donated $500 to charity?"

If you have, and kept quiet about you, you have the right to take the moral high ground.

If not, you're in a glass house, throwing stones.


Sorry, Joe, but I think you're being too self-effacing here. In reality, there was nothing conditional about your offer to donate $500 to that charity. Your book was at #103 when you made the offer, and you had to know with absolute certainty that you'd be writing that check. IIRC, you hit the Top 100 about half an hour after you posted the article.

My impression is that you probably decided to donate $500 first and the rest was just window dressing.

Coral Russell said...

I've only been a Joe fan for maybe 3-4 months and it's because he offered a LOT of his books FOR FREE on a site that I found. I didn't know who he was as an author or if I'd like it - downloaded a couple and viola! I'm paying customer now.

I don't have $500, but I certainly have a buck or two. Like I said before, Joe's going to heaven with both shoes on.

Burritoclock said...

I bought it when you first lowered the price, same with the list. I also bought Run when you had it featured...

I'm now almost through all of BC's books, and have bought Trapped.

I am desperately fighting the urge to read all the Jack Daniels stuff before Stirred comes out... damn you! haha

Kendall Swan said...

Dang! Look what I wake up to this morning. I missed all the action last night. He who must not be named will have to play elsewhere, I guess.

Bought Origin and Journey into Darkness. I'm already a sucker for the stuff promoted on this blog so it was icing that some money will go to some great charities bc of my propensity to click, click, click.

Very cool Joe and SJ.

Kendall
NAKED Slumber Party and Other Stories

L. David Hesler said...

Downloaded. I'm a little late for the initial pledge, but it looks like you could make that second one easily.

S.J. Harris said...

Thanks, Kendall!

KevinMc said...

Ahhh, been looking at buying this one for a while anyway. Sounded interesting. ;) Figured "why not?" Thanks for the discount, and the donation, Joe. Here's hoping you crank this one right to the top, too!

Coolkayaker1 said...

I bought Origin. So Joe can write it off.

CRooney said...

Bought. And got the List too, while I was at it.

James Kirk said...

Love the one click purchase!
Done.
And please stop selling your books for .99.
Why?
Because, damn it, I'm not getting my own stuff written if I have to read all your good stuff.
Geesh!
;)

Lynn Michelsohn said...

Joe, you are doing a great service for a great charity. I have worked with disadvantaged children and have seen how important owning “My own book!” can be to a child.

Although my writing is in a completely different genre (non-fiction: Galapagos Islands, Roswell and UFOs, Carolina Lowcountry ghosts), your blog always gives me wonderful information about formats, pricing, marketing, etc., as well as providing lively and entertaining reading.

You benefit writers of all types, and now future readers too!

The Novelist said...

I hope you won't forget those of us with the nook!

Donna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donna said...

Hi Joe & S.J.

Trying this again :-P

Just bought a copy of each book.

Count me in, too. But I'm realist. I'll go $250 if my book hits the top 1000. Top 100? I'm in for $500, as well.

Darklands: A Vampire's Tale

As for those questioning the integrity of doing this--here's the thing. Without sales, as a "starving author" I'm not in position to donate very much, but I'm always happy to share as much as I can. The more I sell, the more I can share.


Cheers!
Donna

Coral Russell said...

Guys, you can convert your eBook no matter what the format to other formats with Calibre and Zamzar. Both free. DRM would be an issue, but I'm pretty positive Konrath is DRM free.

S.J. Harris said...

Thanks, Donna!

Donna said...

Hi. Just to help spread the word (not that Joe needs help), everyone else who has decided participate--I'll feature the books at No Trees Harmed tomorrow, along with a bit about First Book.

http://notreesharmed.com

Anyone else interested in adding their book to this can email me at submissions@notreesharmed.com

Gabriella said...

I scrolled through all these posts and last night I got Joe's book and S.J. Harris' book.
Today I found Donna Burgess and Anna Murray donating on here so I got those as well.
Have I missed anyone?

Lundeen Literary said...

I agree with rbt... Making this post when you'e at #103 already... yeah, sounds like you'd made up your mind anyhow.

Besides, to earn $500 at .99 list price, Joe has to sell 1500 copies. To make that $1000 donation, Joe has to sell 3000 copies. Still seems pretty altruistic.

I have sold zero point zero copies of my books, and probably wouldn't even with this kind of donation. I couldn't get twitter followers to save my life earlier this year - and I was donating $1/per new follower to RIF! I can't even get to 250 followers now when offering to give away a free cover or ebook design when I get there. If Joe's got something that works, and a charity gets helped, I'm cool with it. His donation is still better than many of the corporations' that I've worked for. AND he'll have to pay a CPA to process the paperwork allowing him to write off the donation.

Joe rocks. 'nuff said.

(and I seriously hope Joe doesn't hate *me*. O_O I'm now terrified by the smiting... ::cowers in fear::)

Jenna
@lundeenliterary

Eloheim and Veronica said...

@lundeenliterary
Hi Jena,
I follow you on twitter. I'm pretty sure Social Oomph https://www.socialoomph.com connected us. You just popped up one day on my feed. All sorts of people do that. Some I unfollow right away, others I continue to hang out with.

I'm hanging with you.

Is Socialoomph sending you followers? If not, you might like to sign up with them.

I have a free account and I use it to post updates to my two Twitter accounts at the same time or schedule posts in advance.

It's convenient when I remember to do it.

I'm @eloheimchannel and @channelers.

To bring this back to a bit more on topic, I'm on chapter 3 of Origins and have already received way more than $.99 worth of reading enjoyment.

Thanks Joe, for the book, and for the inspiration. I'm published because you showed me how to do it!

Veronica
The Choice for Consciousness

Lundeen Literary said...

Thank you Veronica!! I'll check that out.

:D

Jenna

Casey Moreton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daryl Sedore said...

@Donna,

I emailed you. My donation was the comment at 7:04pm for "The Warning" by Jonas Saul, my pseudonym.

Great idea!!!

I'll visit the site tomorrow and buy everyone else's books

Connor Dix said...

Read the first chapter last night. It seemed pretty good. I like when a book starts somewhere I've never been.

I'll get on it full-time as soon as I finish R.B. Parker's "Brimstone."

And I really appreciate this blog. My short story, "The Good Life" is starting to do pretty well. Nice to be "published." Working pretty hard on getting the novel done, hopefully it'll be up by the end of April.

ajabbiati said...

Hey Joe,

Day late and a dollar short, but I bought ORIGIN because I was going to anyway. Got the nookbook...can't wait to read it. THE LIST was great...

Keep up the great work. As a new writer heading into the work of self-pub, your site is invaluable.

A. J. Abbiati

Daryl Sedore said...

@Donna,

Sorry, that's 7:04pm last night in this comment stream.

Donna said...

@Gabriella--Thanks ;-D

for a list of participating authors--http://notreesharmed.com/?p=331

If I missed anyone,or you'd like to add your book, just email me

submissions@notreesharmed.com

Cheers!

Donna

Lundeen Literary said...

@Casey

It'll be ok, don't worry. Tonight, maybe you should relax, have a nice drink, and get a good night's sleep. Then tomorrow, you can come back here and POST LINKS TO YOUR BOOKS. ;) That way, we can have a look. What's the point of interacting with us, if we can't find your work? Maybe some of us can help with ideas, or at least encouragement. Maybe someone here buys a copy, or tweets a link, or gives you a review.

I know how you feel, and it sucks. Give yourself a break for now, then tackle it again tomorrow. You can do it!!!

Jenna
www.lundeenliterary.com

Casey Moreton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wannabuy said...

Joe,

Kudos to you. I bought the book *after* you donated. The book interests me and I'm all for marketing that increases the awareness of a good charity.

Neil

Robert Bidinotto said...

I'm befuddled by a premise in some of the posts -- especially the posts from some of those trolls whom Joe has (thankfully) banished. It boils down to this:

Since when is a "win-win" arrangement subject to moral criticism? Because that's exactly what Joe's experiment amounts to. Everybody wins. Nobody loses.

The premise of Joe's critics is this: that for him to be a true moral exemplar, his charity's gain MUST come at his expense -- at his loss. Morality = "win-lose": charity wins, Joe loses. Because if he also gains something from the transaction, his action becomes morally tainted.

But why is "win-lose" more "moral" than "win-win"? Isn't the tacit premise here that life is a zero-sum game, and that for one person to benefit, somebody else must suffer?

As I see it, what Joe is doing here is the epitome of good ethics. He's taken an action in which everybody wins (including the charity, Joe, and his readers) -- and nobody loses (ditto).

So, tell me if I'm missing something here.

Bianca Connors said...

This will be my first book by you. :)

Lundeen Literary said...

Casey's link is no bueno, so here's a better one...
http://www.amazon.com/Casey-Moreton/e/B001IYVMUE/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Some of those rankings aren't so terrible...

Casey, you said you re-edited. Was that very recently? As in, after the reviews with the comments regarding typos and errata in the text were posted? If so, it would be a good idea to respond via comment to each and every review that mentions typos and state that the typos have been taken care of. If you have control via KDP, and the files are *that* different, maybe you want to re-launch the books. That might help with the low reviews which are talking about the grammar/typo problems. You could then start fresh with each title without the weight of the reviews.

Starting a thread looking for reviews on Kindleboards is a good idea. Gift some reviewers with copies to review. That will boost your rankings and positive visibility.

Your two best reviewed books are your trad pub ones, which reinforces what you said about the editing, but those are priced too high (not your fault).

Your book pages from the books published via Maroon Road do not connect properly with your Amazon author page, but your Simon and Schuster titles do. By the author name at the top of the book page, there should be a down arrow to connect to your author page, but that isn't happening. Email Amazon to sort that out, because that's not getting you cross-sales via your author name/ page / etc. Besides, you want people to click and see those Remington Steele good looks. MEOW! Nice photo! That pops up with even the most idle mouse-over. That's good for sales, trust me.

You have next to no proper tags. Select 15 tags for your book, including genre and related info. Make these as effective as possible. Then join an author tag exchange like on Kindleboards and get those tag numbers up. That will boost your visibility and rankings.

One or two of your covers could be better at the small Amazon thumbnail size.

The prices for your Nook versions are shittastically awful, but I suspect that's beyond your control. No one will pay $11.99 for a 2-star nook book when B&N lists a used paperback version for $1.99. Talk to your publishers. Maybe you can score those rights back, from the look of those pub dates (2004, 2007).

Only 2 of your books are available on the Nook - you can upload to them much like for the Kindle. Get them available stat.

You said you had 2 good things happen book-wise for you in 17 years. Congratulations! That's 2 more than me in the same time frame. I'm not going to tell you that this is easy, but things will get better. I'm sure others will chime in here, too, and maybe we can point you in the right direction.

Jenna
@lundeenliterary

Casey Moreton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Casey Moreton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Casey Moreton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gabriella said...

@Lundeen..
Thank you for giving Casey the advice you did. I was wondering where exactly one would find someone to review what they wrote before it was submitted. I just finished my first one and I would love to find someone to read it and tell me their honest opinion. I have tough skin, so if it's shit I want to know.

Lundeen Literary said...

@Gabriella -

As I said, Kindleboards is a good place to start. You can make a post there and usually get a decent response. Also, there are tons of online writers groups and critique groups, but you're expected to critique as well. Find one via Google search for your genre and prepare to make new friends!

Jenna

I.L. said...

Jenna @lundeenliterary

I'm doing mostly listening (maybe all listening) at this point, rather than commenting, but like Gabriella, I wanted to thank you for your thoughtful reply to Casey, I copied it and saved it, it's great information.

Joe, I bought Origin when it was well past the 100-mark but before you offered another $500. I don't understand this attitude that proper giving to charity only comes in the form of Golden Money from Heaven; it's hard to come by, and the exchange rate is lousy.

Gabriella said...

@Lundeen...
Thank you very much! I too have copied and pasted what you have said. Everybody on here is much further than I am so it's nice to have someone point me in the right direction.
Thanks again! :)

bowerbird said...

2011/04/01, noon pacific...

god bless you, joe konrath.

best of luck with everything.

-bowerbird

Megg Jensen said...

Scott - thank so much for answering my question. Can't wait for your column on Monday too. :D

Megg