Sunday, June 30, 2013

Guest Post by Douglas Dorow

Joe sez: Two weeks ago I invited others to guest post on my blog by donating a minimum of $100 to Tess Gerritsen's War on Alzheimer's.

To be honest, I thought perhaps ten people would donate. A hundred bucks is a lot of money, and though I knew my blog got a lot of traffic, I didn't expect there were that many authors who wanted to guest post.

I was wrong. There have been over 150 writers who have donated, which means I'll be hosting guest blogs for months. I'm overwhelmed by the generosity of my blog readers, and you folks have raised over $15k.

Originally, I ended the offer on June 23. But writers have kept donating, and I'm not going to say no to them. Tess's goal was raising $25,000, and right now she's at $21,643.

I'd like to see her hit her goal. So my offer is still good. Donate $100 or more, and you can write a guest blog. Here's what you do:

1. Email me with the heading TESS GUEST BLOG 7/15 (or any date you want), forwarding the confirmation email that you donated.
2. Attach the blog post in MS Word with all hyperlinks already embedded.
3. Attach the cover art to your book as a jpg.
4. Remind me the day before you want the post to go live by sending all of the above to me a second time. If your date is already taken, I'll email you and you can pick a new date.

I'm known for many things, but organization isn't one of them, and sorting out these guest blogs has been a bit daunting. But I'm doing my best, and I promise to get to everyone.

If you've missed the previous guest blogs, they've been fascinating and informative, and a nice change of pace from my spouting off my tired, old rhetoric.

You can read Dakota Madison talking about finding success as a romance writer here: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2013/06/guest-post-by-dakota-madison.html

You can read CG Cooper talking about his Rule of Three here: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2013/06/guest-post-by-carlos-cooper.html

You can read Todd Travis talking about fear here: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2013/06/gust-post-by-todd-travis.html

You can read Patrick Balester talking about how he learned to love e-publishing here: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2013/06/guest-post-by-patrick-balester.html

You can read Shantnu Tiwari talking about publishing cliches here: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2013/06/guest-post-by-shantnu-tiwari.html

You can read Mike Dennis talking about noir here: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2013/06/guest-post-by-mike-dennis.html

And here's today's guest blogger, Douglas Dorow, a retired little league baseball player and Minneapolis thriller author of THE NINTH DISTRICT.

Shall We Play A Game?

In the movie War Games, Joshua the computer asks, “Shall we play a game?” David replies, “What is the primary goal?” Joshua answers, “To win the game.”

The game they’re playing is Global Thermonuclear War where Joshua discovers the only winning move is not to play.

As writers, we’re all playing a game. Like Joshua we’re playing to win, but in our case the only winning move is to play the game.

What’s the game? For most of us, it’s to write stories and get readers to read/buy them. The best thing about this game is that we each, individually, define what Winning is to us. Is it to see our book on a bookstore shelf, or on an online shelf? Is it to see our friends and family read our stories? Is it to make enough money to pay some expenses? Is it to make enough money to quit your day job? Is it to sell enough books to be a best seller?

The other great thing about this game is there are multiple ways to play. You can pursue the traditional path or choose to publish independently or do both.

Most of the arguments you see between writers is where one thinks they’re playing the same game and that the way they’re playing is the right way and the other person is playing it the wrong way. There are also comments by individual writers who are disappointed in how they’re doing. They’ve defined winning in terms of how someone else is doing, or aren’t winning in their own terms. They aren’t being realistic based on where they are in the game.

One thing about playing the publishing game is that I’m not really in competition with anyone but myself. I may compare my results to those of other authors, but it’s not a I win or I lose to them, because I set the criteria for what winning is to me.

The crazy thing about this game is that there are different variations, and when it comes to rules, some are set, some are ambiguous and some are changing.

In the spring of 2010 I was getting ready to enter the publishing game. I was drafting my query letter to send to agents for my thriller, The Ninth District. Then I read a post that Amazon was changing the options of the game, offering 70% royalties and I decided to jump in and play as an indie author.

I’ve published my thriller as an ebook, paperbook, audiobook and in Spanish in order to reach readers in the format they want to read in. I’ve also published on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBooks… I’ve played the KDP Select game, Free and 99 cents… I’ve reached the kindle #100 and in a couple of categories a few times. The rules keep changing so I keep changing how I play the game. The new game I’m playing is to release more titles; both as the second novel in the series and a companion novella series.

Like all games, to win this game it takes some innate skill, some developed skill and some luck.

Play the game. Have fun. And good luck.

Thanks to Tess Gerritsen for her War on Alzheimer’s, to all those who donated to help her reach her goal, and to Joe for making me aware of it.

I’m a writer because I’m a reader. And I’m a reader because of my mom, Millie Dorow, who taught me to read using Dick & Jane books before I headed off to kindergarten, and who was a victim of Alzheimer's.

Joe sez: I repeat myself a lot, as do most evangelists, because it drills the points home, and I never know when my information will reach someone who hasn't heard it before.

Two of the points I constantly make are:

1. Set attainable goals. Those are goals that don't require anyone else to say yes or no in order to achieve them. "I will write 2000 words a day, finish my novel by November 6, get it edited, proofed, formatted, and live on Kindle by November 25" is a goal. "I will find an agent and become a bestseller" is not a goal, it's a dream. Know the difference and act accordingly.

2. Ebooks are not zero sum. Douglas and I aren't in competition. People won't buy his ebook or my ebook. If they enjoy thrillers, they'll buy both.

At the end of my novel thriller Bloody Mary, a defeated and depressed Jack Daniels is contemplating quitting the police force, but she remembers some words of wisdom her mother taught her.

Life isn't a race we can win. The end of the race is death, and it happens to everybody. There is much that is out of our control. So don't worry about coming in first place. All we can do is run as best as we can.

It's the journey, not the destination.

Whether you think of your career as a race or a game or an endless mountain to climb, you'll be better off if you understand what it is you want, learn how to get what you want, and constantly adapt and experiment and grow from your mistakes.

Right now I'm the #67 bestselling author on all of Amazon. I've made it as high as #3. I've been as low as #2000. It's a journey of highs and lows, of taking risks that pay off and taking risks that fail spectacularly. I've made as much as $130,000 in a month, and as little as $1400. I've watched, mystified, as some of my titles sell 10,000 in a few days and while others (that I think are better) sell 100 in a few months.

There are no guarantees, no shortcuts, no clear paths to success (no matter what your definition of success is). There's only trying your best, writing as much as you can, rolling with the punches, changing and learning, and figuring out how to be happy with where you're at right now, not where you might be tomorrow.

There is also another rule I like: pay it forward.

I don't believe in karma. But I do believe we should treat each other as we want to be treated, and if someone does you a solid, you should pass that along. Every writer should have two outstretched hands. One, reaching for your next goal. The other, reaching behind you to give someone a boost up to where you are. And sometimes all that takes is buying a fellow author's ebook, or making a $5 donation to stop Alzheimer's.

No one said this journey would be fair, fun, or easy. It involves a lot of hard work, a lot of luck, and a lot of perseverance. But it can be rewarding, both monetarily, and emotionally.

Don't stop to simply smell the roses. Water them, too.

42 comments:

John Hamilton, author said...

Nicely said, Joe. I'm glad you keep repeating yourself every now and again. It's good to be reminded that "it's the journey, not the destination." Thanks for all you do.

Jude Hardin said...

Nice post, Douglas. Best of luck with THE NINTH DISTRICT and with your new one.

Jude Hardin said...

Ebooks are not zero sum. Douglas and I aren't in competition. People won't buy his ebook or my ebook. If they enjoy thrillers, they'll buy both.

I'm not so sure about that anymore, Joe. In the first five days it was on sale (six months ago), SNUFF TAG 9 sold 1019 copies; in the first five days KEY DEATH has been on sale (today being day #6), it has sold 63 copies.

That's not a typo. 63.

Same series, same character, same promotion from Amazon, yet the difference in sales (956 copies for the first five days) is nothing short of astonishing.

And depressing.

What, besides increased competition in the ebook marketplace over the past six months, could possibly explain such a difference?

Alice M. Roelke said...

What a wonderful post! Thank you--both. :)

Joe Konrath said...

What, besides increased competition in the ebook marketplace over the past six months, could possibly explain such a difference?

Summer. All sales take a big dip from June - September. I've been tracking this for four years, and it always happens.

Plus there are always different reasons, new variables.

Book launches don't mean anything anymore, Jude. Ebooks are forever. You still have unlimited potential to sell in big numbers.

Regret and worry are useless emotions. Move on, write more, and work with Amazon to help boost backlist sales. By working with them, I mean asking what you can do to help, offering suggestions (Blake and I got Shaken and Stirred priced at $2.99), asking about foreign translations, and continuing your own marketing.

This is a marathon, not a sprint. There's time.

Veronica - Eloheim said...

Jude,

What, besides increased competition in the ebook marketplace over the past six months, could possibly explain such a difference?"

I will go with the fashionable "Zombie Apocalypse" or we could use the astrological reason "Mercury retrograde" or we could say "everyone is on vacation" or "Amazon changed its algorithms" or or or.

There are more potential reasons than there are stars in the night sky.

The other day you spoke about a title that was doing super well. Some titles do AWESOME, some don't, some will later on, some won't.

Focusing on the don'ts and the won'ts and the whys isn't going to help one bit.

I have 20+ titles on Amazon. I've learned to look at the WHOLE picture overall rather than any individual title.

Otherwise, it can make you wacky.

As Joe is always saying "ebooks are forever and forever is a long time."

Mark Terry said...

For about ten years I've had the sign above my desk: Success is a journey, not a destination.

And ebooks and maybe writing for a living is all about that. There's no there there.

Manage your money. Manage your expectations. Write and write and write.

And, you know, keep your fingers crossed.

Good post.

Jude Hardin said...

Regret and worry are useless emotions. Move on, write more, and work with Amazon to help boost backlist sales. By working with them, I mean asking what you can do to help, offering suggestions (Blake and I got Shaken and Stirred priced at $2.99), asking about foreign translations, and continuing your own marketing.

This is a marathon, not a sprint. There's time.


I agree with all that. Still, something has changed with this new release, and it's not because of the season. CROSSCUT was released last June, and its numbers were even better than SNUFF TAG 9's.

I'm totally baffled, and the only thing I can figure is that the ebook marketplace has become more and more crowded, with ever-increasing competition for visibility.

Veronica - Eloheim said...

the only thing I can figure is that the ebook marketplace has become more and more crowded, with ever-increasing competition for visibility.

You have made up your mind thus you have your answer.

Jude Hardin said...

@Veronica: But this isn't a self-published title. It's an Amazon imprint title. Historically, they've been able to wave their magic wand and sell a couple thousand books for you. It's not happening this time, and it's definitely making me wacky.

Veronica - Eloheim said...

Spend the day in "wacky" or spend the day in something productive.

It's really your choice.

Call Amazon tomorrow and see what they know.

Angsting about it between now and then is just signing up for suffering.

Or, do something else. Something like, "Hey I sold 63 copies of my book in 5 days and I have the rest of my life to add to that tally!!!"

If you have to muster up the energy to get excited about your current situation, so what?

Everything in life is a challenge in one way or another. This is yours today.

Jacqueline Colt said...

You set off a light bulb in my head. Writing a book and then a novella about the same story line or character. I have a finished novel. The main character Rocky, keeps bouncing back into my head as thouh she thinks she is not finished with me. I see a novella in my future with Miss Rocky rockin' out in it.
Thank you.
Jackie
www.gywordsworth.blogspot.com

John Kaden said...

Joe, this is by far the greatest thing I've seen you do with your blog. I love the guest posts, and I appreciate you taking the time to do this. Just went to gofund me and did what I could.

PJ Reynolds said...

@ Douglas
- you mentioned companion novellas. Tell me more! How do they fit into the mythos/world you've created and are further developing? What characters - ie same? What lengths? Prices? Frequency? Compilations!?

@Jude:
You said: "...ebook marketplace has become more and more crowded, with ever-increasing competition for visibility."

Do you think Bookbub, ebookbooster have changed things? They weren't being discussed so heavily a year ago (well, I think that's right...!)...

@Joe
Do you see mid-year sales impact by Bookbub, ebookbooster, ie lessening the annual sales dip?

Do you think people have stocked up on freebies and purchases and Summer is a reading and thinning out period of all those ebooks? They come back with new favourites in mind?

So...write like crazy ALL year, but switch off from the OUTCOMES of sales (even if continuing marketing) during June-Sep?

Talking of experimenting (incl ideas such as Douglas' "companion novellas"), what minimum lengths of books (and novellas, perhaps) do you advise on how readers see/judge stories? 50K ok? Best if 60k-70k? Needs to be over 70k, best if at least 80k but no needed to tip over to 90k or higher, like paperback times past?

Thanks, Joe.

best, Pat

Jude Hardin said...

Angsting about it between now and then is just signing up for suffering.

I'm just trying to think about it analytically, the same way I would if I depended on selling cans of floor wax to put food on the table and my sales suddenly plummeted by 1000%. There must be a reason for such a drastic change. Maybe I'll never know what it is, but I can't help giving it some thought.

Douglas Dorow said...

@PJReynolds My companion novella series is going to follow secondary character from my first FBI thriller as he goes off on assignments with his FBI HRT team.

Planning 25,000 word novellas, will bundle 3 or 4 into compilations. Maybe have co-writers for some of them. More of an Action/Adventure thriller, with strong tie in to Novel FBI thriller series.

I think BookBub and others are now the competition for Amazon in promoting to readers for discounted books (used to be other sites for Free). I recently had a 99 cent promo with BookBub and saw a big impact on Amazon and B&N.



Paul Draker - @pauldraker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul Draker - @pauldraker said...

Jude,

An observation about KEY DEATH's title, compared to your other book titles.

SNUFF TAG 9 immediately triggers associations--good ones. I have some idea what the story will be like. Based on title alone, I'm intrigued and ready to check out the description. It goes into my TBR pile.

CROSSCUT is similarly intriguing. "Cross" is a punch. "Cut" is deliciously rich in meaning. Crosscutting of plotlines/events comes to mind. TBR.

COLT evokes classic guns. Frontier justice. All-American heroism.

But the title KEY DEATH--for me at least--doesn't evoke anything but "Huh?"
I read DEATH as the main noun, so KEY becomes an adjective modifying DEATH. When icon-sized, the red/black/white cover art doesn't convey "island." I automatically move on, feeling a little stupid because I didn't "get" what the title tried to convey.

If I were intrigued enough click on the icon, the larger cover art would make me think, "Oh, like Key Largo maybe? Key West? But no, because then it would have been written DEATH KEY--like Rum Key, or Sand Key--to avoid confusion."

YMMV with other readers/browsers, but perhaps you might experiment with changing the title?

Anyhow, I just bought the kindle version of KEY DEATH, and have it in my TBR.

Jude Hardin said...

Do you think Bookbub, ebookbooster have changed things?

I'm just guessing, but I would imagine that Amazon has at least ten times as many mystery-thriller buyers on their mailing lists. But BookBub is definitely the best marketing tool self-published authors have right now, and it's a darn good one. I'm planning to run an ad for COLT with them soon.

Why have my sales dropped? I think there are just too many authors out there vying for visibility. And of course price is a factor as well. And genre, cover, description, etc. But I've gotten more compliments on the cover and better reviews for KEY DEATH than any of my other T&M titles, so something else is going on.

Shantnu Tiwari said...

Great cover, Douglas, and the book looks interesting too. Will definitely check it out.

Agree with Joe about this not being a zero sum game, and that we can't control everything. Yet, I still find it hard to just focus on writing, and not spend every waking hour thinking about how to sell the book :)

Jude Hardin said...

Oh, like Key Largo maybe? Key West?

Exactly. There's a serial killer on the loose, and a couple of smartass morning DJs have started calling Key West Key Death.

I was hoping the title would also work as a death that is key to the investigation.

Anyway, thanks so much for buying the book!

Veronica - Eloheim said...

@Jude
You started the day saying you are finding it depressing and now you are just "Giving it some thought."

Those aren't the same thing.

You have already decided what the "thought" is: competition.

Now you get to choose how to interact with that thought.

And that's where I will leave it as this is Douglas's day.

Jude Hardin said...

@Douglas: I noticed you have a Spanish edition of THE NINTH DISTRICT. I'm curious about that. Did you pay for the translation yourself? How has it worked out for you?

Joe Konrath said...

You have made up your mind thus you have your answer.

Hey! Who moved my cheese!

Hem, meet Haw.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Moved_My_Cheese%3F

Joe Konrath said...

I'm just guessing, but I would imagine that Amazon has at least ten times as many mystery-thriller buyers on their mailing lists

Bookbub is something readers actively opt into in order to get free and reduced price ebooks. This is a different demographic than those who get Amazon announcements.

It's the difference between seeing an ad and redeeming a coupon. Or the difference between getting a flyer in the mail vs. special ordering a catalog.

BookBub is an unprecedented tool for authors. But I've also had BookBub promos that didn't work for me.

I don't dwell on it. I move forward.

Jude Hardin said...

Bookbub is something readers actively opt into in order to get free and reduced price ebooks. This is a different demographic than those who get Amazon announcements.

Or maybe the same demographic that has found an easier pathway to the cheese. ;)

Douglas Dorow said...

@jude The Spanish translation was on my own. An expensive proposition for a good translator. Short term hasn't met my expectations, but it's out there for the long term.

On the other hand ACX for audiobooks definitely should be something you think about

PJ Reynolds said...

@Douglas

Thanks for your info on the plans for the companion novella series. Very interesting. Almost tried to click on the artwork (via the link in your comment response, above) to check out more...so, looking forward to see how you will tell the shorter tales. Each wholly self-contained and separate, or self-contained but part of longer arcs, therby serving the 3-4 novella compilations (and keeping Bookbub happy, passing minimum thresholds).

I've been looking at some similar possibilities - perhaps more like spin-off series, in movie/TV terms. Best wishes with it, and the play on shifting gears between projects. How much do you write per day, or averaging per week or so, really, amongst all else life throws...and offers!

When is first novella out? Nos 2 & 3?

@Joe - looked into novella spin-off series for some of your brands?

best, Pat

Jude Hardin said...

On the other hand ACX for audiobooks definitely should be something you think about

I'm hoping that my agents can secure actual audio licensing deals for my self-published books. POCKET-47's publisher did go through ACX for the audiobook, but I've never seen much money from it.

Jude Hardin said...

And I just noticed that the audiobook version of that one is only $2.99 right now. Cheaper than the ebook.

@Joe: Sorry I missed your chat on KBoards!

Douglas Dorow said...

@jude I think that price is if you already own it. Then it syncs between audio. & e-version so you can read it either/both ways and it keeps your place.

Joe Konrath said...

looked into novella spin-off series for some of your brands?

Maybe once or twice...

Jude Hardin said...

I think that price is if you already own it. Then it syncs between audio. & e-version so you can read it either/both ways and it keeps your place.

No, that's for the Audible Audio edition. There is no other price.

I think I paid about twenty bucks for it when it first came out. As the author, I didn't even get one free copy, lol. Same with the paperback edition. I haven't bought one of those yet, so if someone would like to send me one as a gift...

Joshua Simcox said...

"In the first five days it was on sale (six months ago), SNUFF TAG 9 sold 1019 copies; in the first five days KEY DEATH has been on sale (today being day #6), it has sold 63 copies."

Bend over backward, Jude, and kiss all 63 of those asses. It's an honor to be read by even that many people.

But you can't survive on those sales. Naturally, you're concerned. Perfectly understandable. But people ARE reading and enjoying your work, and you can't hope for much more than that.

"What, besides increased competition in the ebook marketplace over the past six months, could possibly explain such a difference?"

It could be that the reading public just doesn't have much of an appetite for the Colt series. Obviously, these books are well written and packaged professionally and attractively.

But sometimes even good things don't catch fire.

If the Colt series are books that YOU would want to read, then by all means, keep writing them. But try something new. A new series, with a new character. Let the Colt series simmer for awhile.

Adding titles to the Colt series when demand doesn't warrant it is a gamble. Maybe the self space those titles occupy will eventually catch the attention of a sizeable readership. Or maybe the series is a dead end, and it takes something new to break you through. Harlan Coben's sales were mediocre until he took a break from his series character and wrote a standalone. Consider that.

"I'm just trying to think about it analytically, the same way I would if I depended on selling cans of floor wax to put food on the table and my sales suddenly plummeted by 1000%."

I don't think logic applies here. No one can answer definitively why some books sell and other don't. In the legacy world, when an author reaches bestseller status, they tend to stay there. But those rules don't apply to digital publishing, where bestseller lists change on a minute-by-minute basis.

Don't worry so much about it. Write the books you would want to read as a fan and don't be afraid to jettison what's not working.

You'll be fine.

- Joshua

Shelly Thacker said...

@Douglas: From a fellow MN author, congrats on the success of your indie debut! Great post. Thanks for the much-needed reminder that we're each playing our own game and need to define "winning" for ourselves. I'm usually pretty happy with how my books are selling--until I start comparing myself to other authors. I need to knock that off and keep my eyes on my keyboard.

Just bought your book and wow, you have an impressive number of reviews on Amazon. Any tips for getting lots of reviews?

Thanks & best wishes for continued success!

Jude Hardin said...

It could be that the reading public just doesn't have much of an appetite for the Colt series.

The series has done okay. Not great, but okay. I'm really just talking about the difference between the launch numbers (i.e. the first week or so the books went on sale) for the first two T&M titles and the new one. KEY DEATH is basically performing as though it's not getting any sort of promo whatsoever, and I don't have a clue why. It's ranked better right now (currently at 11,412) than it has been since it was released on Tuesday, but the other two books cracked the top 300 on their first or second day. The other two books earned out their advances in the first week or so. At this rate, it's going to take KEY DEATH years to do the same. Just doesn't make sense.

I am trying new things, btw. BLOOD TATTOO will be the finale to the Nicholas Colt series, and early 2014 I'll release the first book in a new series where, in the first book at least, Colt is there working alongside another protagonist, a female secret agent. Third-person, multiple POV, totally different. I'm looking forward to getting that one out there and seeing how it does.

Jude Hardin said...

@Douglas: Sorry if it feels like I hijacked your thread here. Certainly didn't mean to. My first comment was in response to Joe's statement about competition, and then people started responding to my comment and asking questions and so forth, and I guess it just snowballed a bit.

At least everyone has been civil. I think I could get used to the moratorium on anonymous comments. :)

Merrill Heath said...

Joshua said: It could be that the reading public just doesn't have much of an appetite for the Colt series. Obviously, these books are well written and packaged professionally and attractively.

But sometimes even good things don't catch fire.

If the Colt series are books that YOU would want to read, then by all means, keep writing them. But try something new. A new series, with a new character. Let the Colt series simmer for awhile.

Adding titles to the Colt series when demand doesn't warrant it is a gamble. Maybe the self space those titles occupy will eventually catch the attention of a sizeable readership. Or maybe the series is a dead end, and it takes something new to break you through. Harlan Coben's sales were mediocre until he took a break from his series character and wrote a standalone. Consider that.


Bingo! Read this, Jude, and think about it. For whatever reason, the Colt series isn't catching on. Maybe it's time to try something new.

Jude said: I am trying new things, btw. BLOOD TATTOO will be the finale to the Nicholas Colt series, and early 2014 I'll release the first book in a new series where, in the first book at least, Colt is there working alongside another protagonist, a female secret agent.

Jude, that's not something new. That's more Colt. Leave Colt out of the first book of the new series and start fresh.

You had a lot of success with the short story you wrote, Silk. Do more short stories like that, or a novella, or even a novel.

You're a good writer. Find something that strikes a chord with the market and write that. You can always come back to the Colt series, but you might want to try something different in the mean time.

Jude Hardin said...

Do more short stories like that, or a novella, or even a novel.

BAD NURSE

I'm planning to release a new episode every week or so. :)

Douglas Dorow said...

@shelly thacker
Thanks. Quite a few reviews came in after Free and other promotions. Nothing special other than to invite them at the end of the book and cross your fingers that honest reviews come in.

@jude aka "the hijacker" :)
One of the reasons I follow Joe's blog is that so many people interact in the comments. You can learn as much or more there than in the original post.

Merrill Heath said...


BAD NURSE

I'm planning to release a new episode every week or so. :)


Yeah, I saw that on your blog. I'm anxious to see how that works. Good luck!

Alistair McIntyre said...

Picked up the Ninth District and looking forward to it.

I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I rarely get engaged in series anymore. There are so many different authors and stories out there, it takes a force of nature to compel me to buy subsequent books in a series.

Plus, the first book of any series is usually cheap or free, so that's a huge appeal. I can dip into a ton of different series until one grabs me by the nuts.

With the huge number of authors publishing in one way or another, the supply is essentially endless, and I don't NEED to stick to one author or one series. Especially not with the way ebooks are priced.