Thursday, November 04, 2010

With A Little Help

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.


Anonymous said...

@Joe-- Many people have bashed you. But this can only bring you good will (maybe some praise) for helping out your fellow authors by giving them a little publicity.

JA Konrath said...

Many people have bashed you.

Everyone makes mistakes.

Danielle said...

Thanks for the bounce-back, Joe! Always glad to help out.

Author of Dréoteth and Bound by Blood.

Jason Letts said...

Thanks so much for including some of our descriptions with the posts. I finished Dracula just the other day, my first horror novel really. It was fun and I wouldn't be surprised if I come back for more. Best of luck with this and your future works!

jtplayer said...

Re: "Many people have bashed you.

Everyone makes mistakes."

Christ must be insufferable at home. Your poor wife ;-)

Oh, and thanks for the shout outs, I'm gonna check some of those books out. It's always nice to spread the praise around.

Peace bro.

Cliff Ball said...

Thank you for including my novel, The Usurper, I really appreciate it.

Cliff Ball
author of The Usurper, Shattered Earth, and time travel novella Out of Time.

Victorine said...

Wow, I never expected you to go to all of this work, listing descriptions and everything. You. Rock.

L.C. Evans said...

Thanks, Joe. My books and I need and love recognition. I did not know many people have bashed you. Helping your fellow authors is a good way to even the karmic score. And bring you praise.

P.A. Woodburn said...

When my novel was published in the summer, one of my first thoughts was,"I'd love to have it mentioned on J.A.Konrath's blog. Today I made it! Thanks, Joe!

Author of Cries in the Dark

Unknown said...

I think what you've done here, Joe, is great. I love that the traditional publishing world is being tossed on its collective ass. It's about time for some good old fashioned Democracy and Free Market action.

Power to the Artist!

Claire Farrell said...

Thanks for this, the descriptions are a nice (and unexpected) touch.

There are awesome writers on that list - I'm definitely linking to this on my blog later.

M.J.A. Ware said...

I think it's great how you've involved so many writers, and aspiring authors (when I say aspiring, I'm referring to myself).
It's great that, even with your success, you stay connected with indie writers!

Megan said...

Not a bad deal. Assuming you both bought all 53 of these books, you spent about $112 to get your book way up in the Amazon ranks (because, if your deal worked out, each of these 53 people bought your books at about the same time, or at least within a few days).

In return, they get their book listed on your blog with 52 other books and the very slight chance someone will click on them - and an even slighter chance someone will buy them.

I guess being mentioned on your blog is nice, but none of them will get quite what you got out of it, which is a quickly rising Amazon rank. So, ALMOST quid pro quo. Maybe.

Best-selling author getting many to buy his book at once doesn't necessarily equal a quick an unceremonious name drop.

Then again, you did at least pay each author up to $3.99 to buy your book.

I don't know. There's something about honest word-of-mouth and genuine interest that makes a book more appealing. Maybe it's just me.

D K Gaston said...

Wow, there's a lot of great titles in your list. I will definitely be checking many of them out. Thanks for supporting other authors.

Nicole said...

Thanks for this Joe :) I have to fess that I was a little disheartened by some previous posts but this one hits the spot. YAY for fellow authors and well done everyone :)

Looking forward to the next post - and maybe I'll be on this list sooner than later! *chewsnails* eee!

Tara Maya said...

I've bought several of these books already, but I will be eagerly checking out others on the list I hadn't discovered yet.

Oh, and I am re/reading Banana Hammock. It is hilarious. I even like the story you wrote when you were fifteen, although, wow, quite a body count!

JA Konrath said...

So, ALMOST quid pro quo. Maybe.

Ah, cynicism. I'm happy to play.

you spent about $112 to get your book way up in the Amazon ranks

If you think 53 sales gets your book "way up" you're misguided. When it hit the Top 100 bestseller lists, Draculas was selling 400 a day. 53 extra sales we a nice boost, but this was hardly a master plan to get a huge ranking (we got up to #50 overall, BTW.)

In return, they get their book listed on your blog with 52 other books and the very slight chance someone will click on them - and an even slighter chance someone will buy them.

Track their rankings. I've listed ebooks on my blog before. Guess what happened to those I listed (I won't answer, but you're free to ask the authors themselves, or perhaps a few will chime in here.)

Best-selling author getting many to buy his book at once doesn't necessarily equal a quick an unceremonious name drop.

For years, at print signings, authors have done the "I'll buy yours/you buy mine" courtesy.

In the case of newbie ebook authors, no such camaraderie exists, which is a shame. But in some cases, my purchase was the only purchase of their ebook that day.

We've sold over 2000 copies of Draculas in two weeks. I could have lived without those extra 53 sales.

But sometimes it is cool to quid pro quo, just like it's cool to make your peers feel like they're a part of something.

Just like it's uncool to poo-poo other people's efforts.

Bashing something is easy, especially in an anonymous internet world.

Doing something is hard.

You'll have to take my word for it, because bashers usually aren't doers.

Tara Maya said...

Some other indie books I recommend:

Dead Dwarves, Dirty Deeds by Derek J. Canyon (sf)

Right Ascension by David Derrico (sf)

Cinders by Michelle Davidson Argyle (dark literary fantasy)

Sometimes That Happens With Chicken by Wanda Shapiro (literary)

Body Heat by Zoe Winters (paranormal romance)

The Animal Advocate by Rebecca Stroud (nonfiction)

Tara Maya said...

@ Megan. That seems pretty harsh. You could look at it the other way around -- an author was able to buy product placement (and actually in a way much more valuable than an ad) on a blog with very high traffic for the price of a book -- which they also get to read and enjoy. Seems like a pretty good deal to me.

If only I could convince every author of the books I read to mention that I have an sf & f anthology called Conmergence available for $2.99 on Amazon. Wow. I would have thousands of shout-outs. Instead, I'll have to settle for that sly self-plug in this blog comment.

I hadn't even thought of the direct agreement, "I buy yours, you buy mine." I think it's a great idea.

Megan said...


Instead, I'll have to settle for that sly self-plug in this blog comment.

That was beautiful. Thanks for the smile.

K.C. May said...

Thanks so much, Joe, for listing my novel and description! But mostly, thanks for offering so much wonderful help and advice to writers who want to share stories with the world.

CJ West said...

Great idea Joe. I like the shout out for the indies on your list.

Let me add my support for Simon Wood. He's a great guy. I read We All Fall Down and thought it was a great book.

CJ West
The End of Marking Time

Tara Maya said...

@ Megan.


Rose said...

Damn, damn, damn. I've already bought 3 and I haven't finished checking them all out.

Erik Williams said...

Thanks, Joe. Greatly appreciated.

As to the detractors, considering I was going to buy DRACULAS before this offer came along, it seemed like a no brainer to take advantage of a book purchase with free advertising thrown in. For $1.99 (remember, they bought my book in return), I got DRACULAS and pimpage on a well trafficked blog. Yeah, I'll take that deal anytime.

JA Konrath said...

Damn, damn, damn. I've already bought 3 and I haven't finished checking them all out.

I know for a fact that you can buy all of them and it'll be less than $150--the price of 6 hardcovers. :)

Arthur Levine said...

Just posted this on my blog. great idea.


Spectre-7 said...

Thanks a bunch for the opportunity, Joe and company. It's hard as heck to get any kind of exposure, and your willingness to share a bit of the attention you've garnered is commendable. I just hope I have an opportunity to pay it forward some day. :)

~Chris J. Randolph

Anonymous said...

@Joe/everyone- Well, it easy to bash anonymously on the net I agree.

But some of it might be warranted. The incessant griping over price, sales, ranking, money creates an environment of strife and bashing. And it all becomes shrill after a while. It obvious that all people want to be successful.

But when the discussion is about books you've read and liked or doing something nice like this post it's hard to knock or bash.

And at the end of the day, isn't it refreshing to discuss something that you read and enjoyed?

Moses Siregar III said...

Good one, Joe. Sorry I missed out on it!

At the World Fantasy Convention last weekend, I recorded a conversation between Michael Stackpole and myself about the state of publishing, ebooks, ebook pricing (with a bit about $2.99 and J.A. Konrath that starts around minute 16:00), and so on. It's available on my blog here:

Marie Simas said...

I love you, Joe! I picked up Dating My Vibrator-- that sounds right up my alley!

bowerbird said...

megan said:
> you spent about $112
> to get your book way
> up in the Amazon ranks

plus he got a bunch of books
written by a bunch of authors
to stock up his kindle for later!

and made a bunch of friends!

and got a blog post out of it!

and likely cross-posts on the
blogs of those other authors,
which will grow his audience!

so he has a lot to tweet about!

plus it makes him look like
he is a genuinely nice guy,
who loves his fellow authors,
who -- by the way -- have
come by here to thank him!

and -- if you added it all up,
since many of the books here
list for $.99 -- joe probably
_made_ money on the deal!

that konrath. he's a genius.

and meanwhile, megan's
glass is still half-empty...


p.s. joe, the only part of this
that gives me pause is that
so many authors are pricing
their work under the $2.99
floor required to get 70%...
i don't know if it's because
they don't understand the
huge disadvantage of that,
or because they've decided
to sacrifice income for rank.
if we have already gotten to
the stage where authors will
routinely make that decision,
things are moving faster than
i thought. can you gauge this?

Valmore Daniels said...

Thanks Joe. You're a gentleman and a scholar. ;D

LK Rigel said...

@Megan -- "Maybe it's just me..."


I was delighted to participate in the "almost" quid pro quo.

Space Junque had several days on both sides of the Draculas purchase with no sales at all. Jack and the gang's purchase gave me a psychological lift and helped SJ's rankings.

More than that, I was and am happy to participate in this fun side of the culture of self-/indie publishing. Someone will always be selling more books than someone else. And some will be selling a LOT more.

That's not the point.

Instead of looking for a downside that doesn't exist, why not check out one of the many bargain-priced books on the list? Or write a book yourself and jump into the pool -- the water's fine.

And if you DO write a book, guess what? A lot of us will be here for you with advice and help. It's fun! said...

In a post today on my own experiences in self-publishing my first ebook I've linked to your blog, letting everyone know that I believe you've created the singular best source of information on this topic on the 'net. Thank you for everything!

Derek J. Canyon said...

Everyone should also buy Tara's scifi book: Conmergence

And, Moses' epic fantasy book, The Black God's War

(Mara, thanks for plugging Dead Dwarves, Dirty Deeds.;)

Tara Maya said...

Thanks, Derek. :) I also have a link to Dirty Dwarves on my site. And thanks also for reminding me of Moses' book, I'm going to add a link to that too. Let me go do that right now, before I forget....

T. B. Wright said...

Great list, Joe. I wholly believe if more people pimped ebook authors like this, the whole thing would be taken much more seriously by the nah-sayers.

Jude Hardin said...

I love that the traditional publishing world is being tossed on its collective ass.

Is that the goal? Shouldn't everyone be helping everyone?

Like Joe said, this isn't a competition.

Anonymous said...

All the books sound good. Thanks for the list. I wonder how many authors are first time ebook publishers?

Anonymous said...

Wow. And to think I JUST said on the following post that I hoped epublishing would cut back on some of the wild jealousy on the part of writers toward each other. Guess not. I recall Coban's comment after attending a conference, that he "had never met such bitter people in all his life." Hoo.
Meanwhile, good move, Konrath. This is the way it should be. Lead the pack toward the light. And thanks for all the comments about doing my own setup for BookBrewer. I tried and could not make any headway at all on the DTP-whatever platform. I want this to be right the first time out. Do not want to end up looking like the very weird stuff on Authonomy. I'm an English major-punctuation and space breaks don't fly by me. Right now $69 is a bargain, my time being worth more than that, but you have encouraged me to apply myself to formatting after this is on its way Thanks to all, and can we try to treat each other with some kindness and decency? Who the H-ll cares if some books sell better than others? Always have, always will, so what? How does sniping help anyone improve their own work? That really is all that matters here.

Tara Maya said...

I am hoping that if the price of books across the board comes down -- and it should because books are cheaper to produce involving less unnecessary middlemen, like truck drivers -- then all of us can afford more books. That's a world I want to live in.

Derek J. Canyon said...

Tara, I didn't even notice that you had a link to my book on your blog. Thanks!

I'm going to do the same thing with your books. Hopefully this weekend, if I figure out the Associate process. ;)

Rex Kusler said...

Joe said: "Guess what happened to those I listed (I won't answer, but you're free to ask the authors themselves, or perhaps a few will chime in here.)"

I went from obscurity into the top 100 for 29 days (with my name misspelled even). I didn't do any promotion of my own. But tracing it through google searches, later I discovered how it happened by comparing dates. It started with Joe mentioning my name here, and later on Nathan Bransford's blog. It was repeated on other blogs. And my book was mentioned on sites like this one:

Karen Fenech said...

Writers helping writers is a wonderful initiative. Thank you for the listing. Congratulations on your tremendous success!

Anonymous said...

class act Joe. author to author ritual log-rolling, in reality, one of the best and sweetest things amongst humans for the good. Most of us have met far far more hopeful good writers, both 'pub'd and as yet unpub'd, than bitter writers. Met those too, but they are often having hard challenges in other ways also that formed that bitter scum atop an otherwise good nourishing soup.

One of the things about Joe that heartens me, is how relentless his commitment to create. I think, that's the cure for bitterness. Also the upping of one's chances 'out there' in the many layers of the pub worlds.

dr.cpe / archangel

Mark Asher said...

@Megan: "I don't know. There's something about honest word-of-mouth and genuine interest that makes a book more appealing. Maybe it's just me."

You must dislike traditionally published books too, then, because they do a lot more to manipulate sales than buying 53 ebooks.

Moses Siregar III said...

Btw, thanks Derek and Tara.

Congrats on kicking incredible ass this year, Joe. What will you do for an encore? Uh ... I just punned. Didn't mean to--honest.

Zoe Winters said...

Thanks for the shout out, Tara. But I have no book titled Body Heat. I think you meant Blood Lust. :)

Simon Wood said...

Thanks for the mention. It means a lot. If you bought a book, thanks for your donation to a worthy cause.

Tara Maya said...

I'm very embarrassed, Zoe! *hides face behind hands.* But the link on my site is provided by Amazon, so hopefully they won't mess it up. :P

Anonymous said... Do you work for Kindleboards Joe?
I dont know what to say, so I'll just say this: If you want to read a 200 page book go ahead. If you want to read a REAL NOVEL with a 300 page climax then get the FREE 250 page Smashwords Preview of "The Sword and the Dragon" by M. R. Mathias and after you have read that, buy the other 450 pages from Amazon and treat yourself to a NOVEL that has been in the Amazon Fantasy/Mythology TOP 100 for over 12 weeks.

Zoe Winters said...

LOL, Tara, don't be! If I had a nickel for every time I typed something wrong online, I'd be making more from that than from ebook sales. :P

Ruth Harris said...

@Zoe & Tara... Yeah, Baby! From yet another Typo Queen! I can read something (including a headline) 50 times & STILL never see my typos. Including my own name. Believe it or not, I started out in publishing about 100 years ago as a copy editor (!!!!) in the text book dept of Macmillan. Oy.

Probably helps explain why there are so many errors in books these days, too. Technology has changed but the copy editors? Not so much...

Errol R. Williams said...

What a masterful blog post.

Konrath - I'm half way through your book "Shaken" and I have to say, the book is a masterpiece.

Wynter said...

Thanks for all the info. Supporting other authors helps us all.

Unknown said...

Again, Joe...what a fabulous "author-helping-author" concept!!!

You take "Paying It Forward" to all new levels of excellence!

Well done! --- D. D. Scott

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Pretty amazing list. Nice.

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for the mention. :-) We do all have to help each other, I think. I know I wouldn't have sold what I have without lots of help from my friends like Imogen Rose, Victorine Lieske and Donna Fasano, just to namme a few.

Rebecca Stroud said...

Tara - Many, many thanks for recommending The Animal Advocate. And in my own quid pro quo, I posted on Zoe's blog about the great cover work you did for my book (and, of course, I just did here, too...:-))

This is great! Thanks, Joe, for the opportunity for all of us to help each other!

Ursula said...

I posted you up to my FB account. I'm always happy to find a list of books to search for new authors. It's not always easy when you're trolling through tons of choices, even on the categorized lists of Amazon. Even then, you narrow to your normal genres most often. This is nice, it bounces around a bit to give a good sample. And none of the books more than the cost of a cup of specialty coffee or tea at your favorite local haunt.

Tara Maya said...

Thanks, Rebecca!

wannabuy said...


Very classy. I thank you for the links. Some are now on my wish list... Some I've already bought.

I wish all the authors well. Mostly as I want more new books on the Kindle! ;)


Dodge Winston said...

I've been lurking on Joe's blog for a bit now. In fact it spurred me to self-publish. After YEARS of rejection letters I decided to take the initiative with the help of sites such as this one and have finally released my debut novel. The fact that I edited the hell out of it, designed the cover, set the price, and I am in complete control of both the business and writing end... heck if I never sell a copy I feel like I've really accomplished something. I got a book out and there's more on the way... SOON!

Thanks for being inspiring and gutsy, Joe.

Dodge Winston

wannabuy said...


(& other authors)

Please learn to put links to your books in your 'signature.' :) I liked your webpage. Where is the 'idiot proof' link for the book on Kindle? (Hint, make access for the #1 ebook reader easy... Just add 'Kindle' next to 'Kobo'.)

For the signature to other authors: Google for "A href html" for examples.

Danielle your signature should be:

Author of Dreoteth and Bound by Blood

Partially I come to this blog looking for new authors to try. Please make finding your books stupid easy. As in a direct link to Amazon for 'drunk clicking.' I chose Danielle as she didn't have anything in her user profile and 'Bound by Blood' must be one of the most common book titles out there! I found a eight books with that title on Amazon!

I want indie authors to do *really well.* And this just seems like an obvious thing to do...


Frank Zubek said...

Thanks Joe- I'll mention yours on my blog before this weekend is out. My blog averages between 3 and 30 hits a day from around the world.

Another small item of note- I'm surprised your cancelling the Jack Daniels series. Though, this to be admired. Many authors get a popular character and then milk it with book after book after book. This DOES work, for a time, if they have a large enough and loyal enough fan base, but there are others who just milk a character to death. Nice to know you have more class than that.

Tuppshar Press said...

All right, Wannabuy; I'll give it a try. Here (I hope) is the Amazon link to one of our more popular titles. Be warned, though, it is rather racy.

A Slave Girl for the Emperor

KevinMc said...

That's an excellent suggestion. Er, is there any way to automate that? :) Or does one need to add it manually to each post? Just wondering.

Tara Maya said...

Great title, Tuppshar.

Now to try the signature...

Tara Maya
The Painted World Stories
Tomorrow We Dance

P.S. Thanks for the tip, Neil.

Tuppshar Press said...

Thanks, Tara! It was a fun series to read and edit, and we're pestering the author to do another....

Rebecca Stroud said...

Okay, Neil, here goes (and this is actually something I've been wondering how to do for awhile now so many thanks!)

Rebecca Stroud
The Animal Advocate

Rebecca Stroud said...

Oops...that didn't work. I'll figure it out (soon, I hope)

Rebecca Stroud said...

Got it!

Rebecca Stroud
The Animal Advocate

Dodge Winston said...

Hi Neil,

Thanks for checking out my homemade site. I didn't place my link as I thought it might not be acceptable (spam). But here it is for anyone who wishes to check in on my novel and soon to be completed novels as well as what I'm up to -
Drake Eldorado - Distortion

As far as a Kindle version goes... it's on Smashwords but apparently there is a "meatgrinder update" that Smashwords is doing. Once that is done I believe it (Kindle version) will also appear as an option on my Amazon page too.

One thing that I've found tough with self-publishing is the speed of it. It can be slow even when you think you have all of your ducks in a row. Then again what am I complaining about? If a publisher picked me up my work wouldn't be available for another year!

wannabuy said...


I do not know how automate, I usually create a text file so that I can 'cut and paste' the signature for blogs (e.g., I've done it to link to evites on private blogs.)

Excellent. Wow, the cover alone. ;)
Hey, if you would update the titles of your books to show which book in the series is #1, #2, etc. it would help customers too.

Well done, just keep it up. ;)

Rebbecca, you learned something new!

As I've stated before, I'm excited about the fresh perspective Indie authors bring to the table. My favorite genre, Sci-fi, is improving dramatically due to the new tales. Of course, the same is true of mystery/horror. ;)


Tuppshar Press said...


Thanks for the tip; that's a good idea. We've added the book numbers to the series title at Amazon.

And I'm glad you like the cover! Those NASA photographs can be awfully sexy, huh? ;)

Anne R. Allen said...

So generous of you to provide this list. You're the leader of a movement that's growing exponentially. They'll all need a joint website: Konrathian Kindlites, or something.

I've been following all this with fascination. OK, I guess I have to get myself one of those Kindle things.

I think Nathan Bransford has left the publishing building partly because he supports self-e-publishing. I've blogged about it and given you a shout-out on my blog today.

wannabuy said...

Tuppshar said:

NASA? Only if a rocket is about to go off!

Author Scott Nicholson said...

Great post, Joe--when authors try to get joint efforts together and only a fraction join in, I always say, "Don't be frustrated because not many get it--you have successfully identified your allies. One ally is better than 100 followers who don't care."

And from personal experience I can say the busiest and most successful writers, like Joe, who always seem to find the time to help other writers. Pass it on!

Scott Nicholson

JA Konrath said...

A cool update: Stephen Windwalker reprinted this post on Kindle Nation.

Marie Simas said...

Seriously, Joe. I'm shitting my pants right now. I released Tampons On Sept 21st.

I sold 7 copies in Sept, which I thought was pretty good for a new release with no fanfare. I picked up some good reviews from book bloggers a week ago.

I check sales every few days. I was getting 1-2 sales a day.

Then, you posted my book's link on Thursday. I just checked my sales rank an hour ago: I went from 40,000 up to 2,000. I sold 17 copies today. TODAY.

And now it's getting paired up with "Dating My Vibrator" which I also bought when I saw it on your list, (and I guess others did, too).

Shit, Joe. That's some serious bananas.

How could so much EPIC WIN happen in such a small corner of the Internets?


Jean said...

Hi Joe, I'm new to your blog. In fact, this is the first post of yours I've read and I can't tell you how refreshing it is to see an author supporting other authors! I was impressed and I look forward to reading your posts in the future!

Uncle Sam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Uncle Sam said...

Hi Joe, I'm a longtime ePub author, (five years)and I noticed most of the books you've touted are priced under 2.99, Amazon's new threshold for 70% royalties. Those seem like giveaway prices. Do lower priced books sell better than say 2.99 to 4.99 where most of mine reside? Does the new royalty scheme alter sales strategy for you in any way?


Simon Wood said...

The results are in on my charity drive. I raised over $200. Thanks Joe for the mention and to everyone who bought a book. Go to for the actual results.

Lindsay said...

Wow, you deserve a lot of great Karma for this. As a romance writer I love to see that you did not exclude the genre from your list.

As to those who mock you, I think we already know that you are laughing all the way to the bank! Great to see that on your way there you are also trying to help the little people like us. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Joe ... did you see news NYT to list ebook bestsellers

James Viser said...

Every new media needs its guides and champions and you are filling those roles for eBooks.

I've bought Draculas and Newbie's Guide to Publishing. I appreciate you sharing your experiences and advice. As I go out into the eBook world, you've been a helpful voice.

Many thanks!

Manley Peterson said...


I've been reading your published and unpublished books for many years. Thanks for this entertaining and informative blog. You've encouraged me to try out self-publishing.


Author of Bloated Goat - the book that answers the age-old question, "If a bloated goat falls dead in the forest and no one is around, does it still smell like death?"

Coolkayaker1 said...

Joe, NY Times Bestseller list to list eBooks! See link above. CK1