Featured Author R.S. Guthrie

Honor Land - R.S. GuthrieAs I continue to showcase authors included in the boxed set A Crime Collection – 5 Heart-pumping Mystery Thrillers, I’m pleased to feature R.S. Guthrie. Rob is an award-winning author and has a couple of series, the Bobby Mac thrillers and the James Pruett mysteries. So without further ado, here’s Rob:

What do you love about writing? What do you hate (if anything)?

For me, it is the most natural thing. It makes me feel alive, as if I am fulfilling the purpose of my own being. The business end of it is like any job, and can be frustrating, stressful, etc. But the writing? It is effortless and endlessly satisfying to me.

Who is your favorite author and why?

James Lee Burke. He is a poet dropped into the body of a Mystery writer. He was the first

A young R.S. Guthrie

The budding writer.

writer I read that convinced me of my own voice; that one did not have to make a choice between writing “literary” prose or “selling out”, commercially, to make a living. He is a two-time Edgar (Mystery Writers of America best novel of the year) winner and has also received both a Guggenheim Fellowship and the MWA’s prestigious Grand Master award. Yet his prose is as eloquent as it is engaging and readable.

I had the honor of speaking with him, one-on-one, in Montana, where he now spends most of his time. He is every bit the Southern gentlemen and a wondrous treasure to the literary community (and his daughter, Alafair, is following—quite successfully—in his footsteps.

What’s the best feedback you’ve gotten from a fan?

A fan once told me that she’d never read a writer who had put it all together in the way that my writing did. It actually brought tears to my eyes, and I am not one who allows what others think sway me too much in one direction or the other. But her words were a kind of an affirmation that I had chosen that correct path in the woods.

Do you have a favorite movie that inspires your writing?

The Shawshank Redemption (based on Stephen King’s short story, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption). Beyond being an outstanding, motivational movie, its tagline just keep me afloat: Fear keeps you prisoner; Hope can set you free.

Here’s a little more about Rob:

R.S. Guthrie with dogR.S. Guthrie grew up in Iowa and Wyoming. He has been writing fiction, essays, short stories, and lyrics since college.

“Black Beast: A Clan of MacAulay Novel” marked Guthrie’s first major release and it heralded the first in a series of Detective Bobby Macaulay (Bobby Mac) books. The second in the series (Lost) hit the Kindle shelves December of 2011. Reckoning closes out the trilogy. For now…

Guthrie’s “Blood Land” is the first in the Sheriff James Pruett Mystery/Thriller series and represents a project that is close to his heart: it is set in a fictional town in the same county where he spent much of his childhood and still visits. The sequel, Money Land, hit the shelves Christmas Day, 2012. Honor Land, the third in the bestselling James Pruett Mystery/Thriller series is due out in 2014.

Guthrie lives in Colorado with his wife, three young Australian Shepherds, and a Chihuahua who thinks she is a 40-pound Aussie!

Readers can catch up with what’s new with R.S. Guthrie at his official site, http://www.rsguthrie.com , or discussions related to writing at his blog, Rob on Writing (http://robonwriting.com).

Do yourself a favor and check out Rob’s books; you won’t regret it. And download your copy of A Crime Collection – it’s FREE!

 

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Featured Author Simon Jenner

A Crime Collection - RedAs I continue to interviews authors that are featured in the boxed set A Crime Collection – 5 Heart-pumping Mystery Thrillers, I’d like to introduce you to the fantastic author Simon Jenner! Simon writes the Ethan Justice thrillers that are fast-paced and full of action. Let’s get to know a bit more about Simon.

What do you love about writing? What do you hate (if anything)?

It’s definitely a love hate relationship for me.  I love it when I’ve written a scene that works for me, when I feel it when I read it back, despite knowing every detail that’s coming.  I How hard could it bealso love the climax as all the stages of getting a book published are completed and it goes live.  The mixture of excitement and fear are an unbelievable rush as you wait for the feedback to appear.  And, of course, I love any great reviews that happen to come my way – who doesn’t!  My main hates are the days when words come but they read as though a four-year-old wrote them, and also getting bogged down and losing faith in a story. This picture sums up the bad days! That being said, I’ve never enjoyed anything else as much in my life – if that isn’t mixed up, I don’t know what is.

Tell us about this series: what inspired it? What makes this series different from others?

The “Ethan Justice” series was inspired by my desire to read an action thriller whose hero is NOT a highly trained professional who can kick ass at the drop of a hat. So I came up with a hero born of circumstance – a lost soul with hidden depths that only surface under extreme conditions. I hope readers can relate to the everyman as he battles his risk-averse nature to become the man of the moment. This is part of what keeps the series different.  The other factor is that readers can really get into the disturbed mind of the antagonists. They are written in the first person present tense so I could really put across what makes them tick.

Who inspires you?

My wife and son.  Without them nothing would ever get written.  They are my rocks and the reason I get up in the morning.

What’s the first story you ever wrote?

Hell, I don’t know!  I used to see if I could shock my English teacher by writing particularly gory stuff with brains being flushed down toilets and suchlike.  I must have been 16 years old at the time, when dinosaurs were still roaming the planet according to my son! Earlier than that I can’t recall. 

Here’s a bit more about Simon:

Simon Jenner - AuthorI write action thrillers which will make you laugh, cringe, cry & cheer. My protagonists are capable but flawed reluctant heroes who I hope are well worth investing your time in. I am a man whose goal in life is to discover my goal in life. I live with my wife, who keeps my dream alive and whose cooking keeps my stomach tight against my trousers, and my son, a dreamer just like me. To find out more about me, please check out some of my ‘Personal Crap’ blog posts, such as ‘The 10 Most Interesting Things About Me’, ‘Selling Myself In 10 Words Or Less’ and ‘The Story of My Life in 250 Words’ on my website: http://simonjenner.com/personal-crap/ . Alternatively why not follow me on Twitter (http://twitter.com/simonrjenner ), ‘Like’ me on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SimonJennerAuthor ), or compare books with me on Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/Simon_Jenner ).

Thanks to Simon for stopping by, and I do hope you readers will download a copy of A Crime Collection – remember, it’s FREE!

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Featured Author Emily Kimelman

A Crime Collection Boxed Set

It’s been a while since I’ve interviewed indie authors, but I’m delighted to host the authors that are featured in a boxed set that I’m a part of.  It’s called A Crime Collection – 5 Heart-Pumping Mystery Thrillers. Each day I’m interviewing a different author, and today it’s Emily Kimelman! She is the author of The Sydney Rye Series (UNLEASHED, DEATH IN THE DARK, INSATIABLE, STRINGS OF GLASS, and THE DEVIL’S BREATH). This series feature a strong female protagonist and her canine best friend, Blue (recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don’t mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex). These are rollicking good mysteries! Let’s learn a little more about Emily.

What’s the best feedback you’ve gotten from a fan?

Unleased - A Sydney Rye NovelA number of people have told me that they read the Sydney Rye series while recovering from an illness and that her strength, and Blue, really helped them through that journey. When I get those emails I tear up a little bit. To think that my imaginary adventures could actually effect someone’s real life in a positive way is awesome to me.

What’s your favorite hobby?

I love horseback riding. When I was living in Costa Rica working on INVITING FIRE I worked at a horse farm down the road and spent most my afternoons galloping up hills and chasing cows and donkeys around. It was a dream come true. My horse, Mishka, loved hanging out with me and we learned a lot together about opening gates, getting over fears, and finding the most spectacular views.

Who inspires you?

So many people! I have a new series I’m doing on my blog about people who inspire me. I recently had Toby Neal (who writes the Lei Crime Series) on and next month I’ll be interviewing my good friend, Gail Cunningham. She is a cut paper artist whose work I really admire. Really, I’m inspired by anyone who let’s their creativity lead them around by the nose and isn’t afraid to let it happen.

What’s the first story you ever wrote?

Oh my God. I just found it recently. I wrote it when I was like 11 and there is drug smuggling, booze, and nudity. Really, my themes have not changed much :) I wrote in the bio that Emily Kimelman was also the author of the “Unicorn Chronicles” which I wasn’t and still am not. But damn, I wish I was.

____________________________

It’s been great for me to get to know Emily, and I appreciate her willingness to share her publishing experiences with me. She is definitely an author to watch.

I hope you check out all of Emily’s books, and get your FREE copy of A Crime Collection.

 

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A Crime Collection Boxed Set And Facebook Party

I’ve been working since the spring with four other authors on a boxed set. This collection of crime novels are all first-in-a-series and you can get them all free!

A Crime Collection Free

Five Great Mysteries

Five first-in-a-series novels

FREE

These spellbinding crime stories, filled with twists and turns, murder, intrigue and suspense, feature captivating and unforgettable characters and have been reviewed more than 1,600 times and have earned more than 750 five-star reviews and have won multiple awards.

These five full-length heart-pumping mystery thrillers are available in this very special bundle for a limited time only. They include:

THE FRIDAY EDITION – Betta Ferrendelli
BLOOD LAND – R.S. Guthrie
ETHAN JUSTICE: ORIGINS – Simon Jenner
UNLEASHED – Emily Kimelman
THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN IN THE MOVIES – Renée Pawlish (yours truly)

AND join all of us for a party on Facebook!

A Crime Collection

When: 1 pm EST/6 pm UK

Where: Facebook

Why: to chat with the authors, win FREE prizes and more!

And we’re giving away cool stuff, too!

A Crime Collection Giveaway

We’ve got hand marked manuscript pages, personal letters, a gift card, and of course, books – audiobooks, paperbacks, and ebooks!

So download your FREE copy of the boxed set from Amazon, let us know when that’s done on the entry page and you’ll be entered to win.

So get your copy now and I’ll see you on Facebook this Saturday!

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Indie Authors – Are Blogs Effective Anymore?

indie author handbook

Indie Author Handbook

I haven’t posted to this blog in a long time, but I was prompted to write this after reading Robert Chazz Chute’s great post, What if What We Think We Know About Writing, Publishing & Promotion is Wrong?  It’s a great post and I encourage you to read it first before you continue reading this post.

Are you back?

Okay, here are my thoughts, if anyone cares :)

Indie Authors – Blogging Is Dead

I agree with Robert here, with a caveat.  Too many indie authors write blogs about writing.  Who reads those?  Other authors.  I think the advice of writing in a niche that your readers will enjoy is where you build your blog.  Unfortunately for me, my blogs are either about the craft of writing or about film noir.  Unfortunately, film noir (a niche for readers) targets a very small audience.  Doesn’t work…oh well.

If you want to write a writing blog, this should be with other things to market (books about writing, consulting, classes, etc.).  Treat is as another revenue stream.

Write blog posts because you like it, not because you think it’s going to sell books.  If it does, great, but don’t expect it.  Write blog posts about something you and fans of your books will enjoy.  Your passion will come through and your fans will love it.

Indie Authors – How Do You Sell Books?

Not through a blog….at least for most of us.  Robert discusses the meme market your books by writing more books.  His conclusion is that this may work, it may not.  And I believe he’s right.  No, shocker!

Yes.  Here’s the thing: we’ve all heard of the outliers who are making thousands at this, and we’ve all heard that they are the exception.  This is true!  But then people say but wait, there are tons who are making a living at this.  Also true, but here’s the caveat: look at the genre they are writing in.  Almost all that I see (from Kindleboards, The Passive Guy and other sites) are writing in a romance genre or erotica.  Some are making it in action-adventure, some in sci-fi or fantasy.  It’s very hard to make a steady living in other categories.

Be aware of this.  Robert sites authors who are worrying from month to month whether they will make enough to pay the bills.  I believe this is probably where most full-time authors are.  And most are more dependent on Amazon than they would admit to (read this great post by Nick Stephenson about this).  I know a handful of authors who gave up their day jobs for writing, and then have had to go find work again (with difficulty) because the writing didn’t pan out.

My advice: be very careful before you quit that day job.  The publishing industry is in great flux and what’s gold today may not be tomorrow.

Indie Authors – My Strategy

Even though I’ve just said that writing more books may not be the answer, for myself, it’s working.  Not enough to quit the day job, but the revenue is growing.  Here’s some of what I’m doing:

Writing more books in a specific genre.

Until the last book, I’ve put all my focus on the Reed Ferguson mystery series.  I’ve just released the 7th in the series (The Lady Who Sang High).  Why?  Because this is the genre that is selling for me, I like Reed Ferguson, and most importantly, with the release of each book, I am gaining more fans.  And fans do tend to read in specific genres, as Robert notes.  Yes, you will get some rabid fans that will read anything you write (and how cool is that), but most won’t.  But having a series in a specific genre is a good revenue stream.

Many indie authors who are making money at this recognize that genre is important.  Which leads me to another strategy…

Knowing my life goals.

If you want to write what you want and you don’t care about sales, more power to you.  I want to do this for a living, so I’ve got a strategy in mind.  It involves not only writing goals, but financial goals.  I’ve always dreamed of living in the foothills, so I’m in the process of selling my house and building a home there.  Then I will pay it off as fast as I can.  No mortgage means I need less each month to live on.  And no, I’m not making a ton of money at my job.  I sacrifice in other areas to make this happen.  I’m very careful with how I spend my money so that I can achieve this goal.  It’s not everyone’s, but it’s mine.  Could I move to the family farm three hours from Denver and live there rent-free and write full-time?  Probably.  But being that far from Denver would depress me and interfere with my writing, so it’s not worth it to me.  I’ve evaluated what it will take to live on writing, what I need in savings, what I need for retirement, and much more.

I also have writing goals, like how many books I will produce each year, and each month.  People ask why I’m pushing so hard, even though I’m moving and have a lot on my plate.  Again, no one else will.  I’m driven and I love writing.  So I do it.

My point is, decide what you want and how you will achieve it.  Then you have to put the effort in.  No one else will do the work for you.

Creating multiple series in different genres.

I’ve just completed the first draft of the 2nd book in the Noah Winters adventure series.  Why am I branching out from the Reed Ferguson mystery series?  Because the Noah Winter series sells okay, especially in paperback (I believe this is the case because it’s a middle-grade novel).  The first in the series, The Emerald Quest, gets rave reviews.  I think I can build it into a decent series, it means a revenue stream.  At some point (probably next year), I will finish the Nephilim series.  I haven’t pushed it because horror doesn’t sell as well, and Nephilim will only be a trilogy, with possibly a prequel.  So a limited revenue stream.  I am also going to create a series in the action-adventure/thriller category that I hope will help sales as well.

Know my marketing goals.

I’m testing different strategies.  With the Reed Ferguson mystery series, I’m releasing books as soon as I finish them.  I try to get Bookbub ads whenever I can.  But with the Noah Winter adventure series, I am going to wait until I have three books in the series before I advertize.  Why?  Because I will advertize The Emerald Quest on Bookbub (if they’ll take it and I believe they will because there’s less competition in middle-grade books), and I should see sales of the other books.

Having multiple series in different genres also allows me the opportunity to advertize (and get accepted) more on Bookbub.  And even though most readers don’t cross genres, some will, and I’m going to take advantage of that.  I do hope that other sites (like The Fussy Librarian), will give Bookbub competition and this will mean another great place to advertize with great results (and I believe The Fussy Librarian will), but for now, there’s no arguing with Bookbub’s results.

Not relying on one vendor.

I know a lot of authors are exclusive to Amazon.  That’s fine, but for me, I don’t want to be exclusive there.  If Amazon corners the market, they can change how much they pay authors…in a negative way.  Yes, I’m saying this even though JA Konrath rudely ripped me on this :).  There are many respected authors who believe Konrath and his ilk are wrong – read Dean Wesley Smith for one.  Alibaba could make a move on Amazon, Barnes & Noble could sell its Nook reader base to Apple, Alibaba or others.  Apple and Google Play are growing.  So are foreign markets, but not through Amazon.  My marketing strategy has been to branch out and it’s working.  I sell well on Barnes & Noble, and my sales at Apple and Google Play are growing as well.  And I hear this from other authors, too.  So I’m fine with what I’m doing here.

Write fast.

This one you can’t get around, unless you get lucky and one book takes off in a big way.  But I’m finding that the more I write, the faster and easier it becomes.  It’s fun and I can’t seem to stop.  That’s where my focus is, so I don’t write many blog posts anymore.  They take up too much precious time, for too little gain.  And speaking of writing, it’s time for me to stop writing on this post and get back to the next Reed Ferguson mystery, Sweet Smell of Sucrets.

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Indie Authors – Branching Out From Amazon

indie author handbook

Indie Author Handbook

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I hope to get back on a schedule soon.  Life has taken on some interesting turns (new job, which was my old job; long commute again and more).  In my writing life, I’ve been busier than ever.  I’ve figured out a way to write faster (more in a future post), I’ve learned Photoshop so I can do my own covers, and I’ve also branched out from Amazon.

Indie Authors – Is KDP Select Worth It Anymore?

Much has been written on this topic, both pro and con.  Here’s my take: KDP Select might have some value, if you have a huge audience (like JA Konrath), or if you have just a book or two available and you want to try to get some traction and reviews.  Then using Select, and its Kindle Countdown, might be of value for you (read more about my thoughts on Kindle Countdown here).  But you need to ask yourself (especially if you have a lot of books for sale and/or a series) if the payoff is worth the lost sales on other sites (Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, txtr, OverDrive, Scribd and many more).  For me, it’s not.

Indie Authors – Branching Out

I haven’t been in Select for a while, but it still took me a while to make all my books available on other sites.  I know that the theory is that Amazon is the king (and they are), so why sell elsewhere, but I personally think it’s dangerous to put all my eggs in that basket.  I also haven’t read where Kindle Countdown has been that great.  Yes, authors get to keep their 70% royalty on a 99 cent book, but this doesn’t help if your book is permafree (which the first in my mystery series is, and it’s the one I most heavily promote), and this doesn’t account for the lost revenue that an author might receive if he/she is selling on other venues.  I also haven’t seen where indie authors feel that Kindle Countdowns gave them any sort of great boost after their countdown ended.

Indie Authors – My Results Going To Other Retailers

KoboIn short, it’s been successful.  First, I’ve been lucky enough to get Bookbub ads for This Doesn’t Happen In The Movies, and I’ve gotten a lot of downloads.  After the fact, my sales got a nice boost.  Amazon performed very well, with all other books selling well.  On Barnes & Noble my sales are about a fifth of those on Amazon.  Now that may not seem like much, but it’s a nice chunk of change.  I’m also getting sales on iBooks and some (albeit not much) on Kobo.  I haven’t been able to figure Kobo out.  My books sit high in bestseller lists, but they still don’t seem to get visibility.  I’m not sure how to change that (I’d love to get featured in their first in a series, but I don’t know how one does that), but I’ll still leave my books there.  Apple is beginning to gain traction, too.  So I’m satisfied with not being exclusive to Amazon.

Indie Authors – Other Things To Consider

One of the things that makes me nervous with using Amazon exclusively is their ability to change royalty rates (don’t think they can’t/won’t do it, they did with their audiobook division, ACX).  If they do, I’d want to be earning royalties elsewhere.  Apple also bears watching.  They are including iBooks (pre-installed) on iOS 8.  This could potentially be huge for indie authors.  I also wonder about what Alibaba will mean for Amazon, especially in terms of global sales (read more about Alibaba here).  I also heard an interesting theory, a what if Alibaba buys Nookpress?  That could be a game changer…

Indie Authors – Conclusions

For me, it’s a no-brainer.  Amazon would have to do something really awesome for me to go back to exclusivity with them.  Branching out to other retailers has been a success, and with some advertizing and continued brand-building, I think the revenue stream from those retailers will be a nice benefit to my business.

I’d love to hear what you think?  Let me know in the comments.

And (shameless plug), stay tuned for the sixth in the Reed Ferguson mystery series, coming out in July!

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Indie Authors – Can Amazon Remain Relevant?

indie author handbook

Indie Author Handbook

Okay, the obvious answer is yes.  But there are some things on the horizon that I think bear watching, especially for indie authors.  Read on…

Indie Authors And Amazon’s Stock Tumble

Did anyone notice that Amazon had a poorer holiday season than expected?  One group did: investors.  Amazon’s stock recently tumbled – shares are down 10%.  Amazon posted a profit in the last quarter of 2013, but it fell short of expectations.  Now I get that this is mostly investor-speak and issues for the stock market, but…what many don’t realize is that Amazon doesn’t make a huge profit in general (Jeff Bezos spends a lot, so the profit margin isn’t huge).

Why is the market so unhappy?  It’s hard to say.  Amazon has a long history of spending lavishly on new developments at the expense of its own profits.  And, for a long time, Wall Street has essentially put its trust in Jeff Bezos and given him a bye on these figures.  But analysts are now pointing to an ongoing deceleration in the company’s unit sales growth, which fell to 23 percent from 25 percent in the previous quarter, as possible cause for concern.

What does this mean for indie authors?  Who knows, but it’s important to realize that Amazon makes about 7% of its revenue from ebooks (I can’t find the article on this, if someone has this reference, let me know).  I’ve also read recently that Apple and Google are taking bigger shares of the ebook and ereader market.  Would this mean that Amazon will finally start charging authors to publish?  Or give us a lesser share on our sales (remember, they already changed the royalty revenue for audiobooks so the author gets less)?

Amazon’s Profit Weakness Highlighted

I found this article to be very interesting.  Alibaba, the Amazon of China, has filed a prospectus with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  Here are some things to note:

  • Alibaba’s profit totaled $2.8 billion for the nine months ended Dec. 31 on revenue of $6.5 billion
  • Amazon hasn’t had much in the way of net income during its 20-year history, with $274 million earned for all of 2013 on sales of $74.45 billion

As the article notes:

Put another way, Amazon makes less than a penny for every dollar in revenue, while Alibaba makes about 43 cents.

Alibaba’s ability to churn out profits underscores how Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos’s strategy of pouring money back into the business and pressuring already razor-thin margins isn’t the only way to become one of the world’s biggest online-commerce companies.  That may exacerbate investors’ recent dissatisfaction with Amazon — they have pushed down the company’s shares 25 percent so far this year, as Bezos ramps up spending on fulfillment centers and delivery operations.

It gets worse for Amazon:

Amazon, meanwhile, has built out a massive infrastructure of distribution centers and delivery options.  The company’s expenses rose 23 percent in the first quarter, with fulfillment costs climbing 29 percent and technology and content costs jumping 44 percent.

Amazon has already raised prices for Amazon Prime.  With rising pressure from investors, will Amazon do other things to make more money?  Stay tuned…

PS – on a different note, how will this affect ebook sales?  Amazon, in general, stinks at ebook sales outside the U.S.  What will Alibaba being in the U.S. mean for ebook sales in China?

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Bookbub Raises Capital – What Does It Mean For Indie Authors?

indie author handbook

Indie Author Handbook

Did anyone see the latest news about Bookbub?  I’m a little surprised I haven’t been reading more about this from indie authors.  The headline is striking:

BookBub Raises $3.8M to Help Readers Find E-Book Deals Online

Indie Authors – What Does This Mean For Us?

My first thought when I read the headline was will Bookbub quit gouging authors with their advertizing prices?  Of course we know the answer to that: no.  The only way Bookbub will stop with the exorbitant costs is to have competition (which is one reason why I hope The Fussy Librarian succeeds).  When indie authors have another viable resource that is as successful as Bookbub and they take their advertizing dollars there, then Bookbub will have to reconsider what they charge for a one-day email.

Indie Authors – What Will Bookbub Do With The Money?

The article states that:

The CEO plans to use the funding to develop new e-book discovery products for Bookbub price imagepeople who love to read.  The company also plans to localize the BookBub newsletter and site for different, international markets, starting with English-language speaking countries.

I’m curious to see what the plans are.  I also wonder how successful Bookbub will be with foreign markets.  Amazon hasn’t figured that out, with their delivery charges and inability to let authors change prices in foreign markets.  Bookbub won’t have those issues, but how will they grow their email list?  I also can’t see authors being willing to lay out the kind of cash they have to now unless they know that Bookbub will deliver, and it will be interesting to see what kind of prices Bookbub will charge.

Don’t get me wrong – Bookbub is, in my opinion, the best place to use your advertizing dollars.  I just think if they’re going to call me a partner, they should actually treat me like one, and really have my interests as an author at least somewhat in mind, instead of just wanting to get as much out of my pocketbook as they can.

What do you think about this news?

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Indie Authors – Does Blogging Really Matter?

indie author handbook

Indie Author Handbook

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been MIA on this blog of late.  There are a number of reasons why: too busy with life, too busy writing novels, too busy learning Photoshop and creating covers, releasing short stories, and so on.  But one of the big reasons I haven’t blogged a lot lately is that I wonder if it really matters at this point….

Indie Authors – Where’s The Following?

When I started this blog almost three years ago, the idea was to create a following that would…wait for it…sell books (and since most of us authors don’t buy each other’s books, I haven’t sold much as a direct result of this blog).  But I did what so many do, and I wrote/write about writing.  I’ve discussed before how this was a mistake (read Blog Basics For Indie Authors – Your Audience), and yet, here I am…

And lately I haven’t felt like blogging.

Indie Authors – The Blog Becomes A Chore

It takes me a lot of time to do each blog post.  There’s research, editing, finding images, factoring in keyword research, and so much more.  I can’t crank a post out in a few minutes.  That’s okay, and I enjoy passing along what I’m learning, but it’s taking too much time for me.  And there are so many blogs on writing that I find myself wondering if my little blog matters.  Does anyone read it?  Does anyone care?  And it takes me away from writing my novels…

Indie Authors – A Refocus

Things are changing for me.  I like to help others and pass information along, but it takes away from my other writing.  So now, if I do write posts, I’m going to make sure they’re short, and fun (or fun/interesting for me to write :)).  I know people like images to keep their attention, but screw that.  I don’t always have time to make things pretty because some readers need pictures to keep their attention :).  If I find some piece of valuable information, I’ll pass it along.  But I’m not going to let the blog take away from my other writing projects (do you sense a theme here?).  I’m not going to let the blog become a chore.  I want it to be fun again…

I read an interesting blog post about authors taking a break from all the things we do.  It resonated with me because I’ve been feeling a lot of what Robert writes about.  Give it a read…

And now (about an hour after I wrote this post), I got this comment from Robert, and it made me feel like pressing on…

I hope your blog doesn’t go away. You’ve done some excellent analysis there and it would be a shame to lose it.

Okay, my rant is finished…what are your thoughts?

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Cover Reveal – Out of the Past, A New Mystery

Here’s the new cover for the fifth novel in the acclaimed Reed Ferguson mystery series!  I’m so excited about this new novel.  Reed is growing as a detective, the plot is suspenseful and tense.  Here’s the blurb:

Compelled by a dark secret from his past, Denver detective Reed Ferguson takes on his most unique case yet – bodyguard for young, spoiled trust-fund baby Stephanie McMahon – and gets more than he bargained for.  As Reed tries to protect Stephanie from an unknown assailant, he realizes that things are not what they seem, no one can be trusted, and the past has a way of coming back to haunt us.  And when suspicious deaths begin piling up, Reed knows he might be next.  With a twisting plot and film noir fun that readers have come to expect, Out of the Past is Reed Ferguson at his best.

Out Of The Past - Reed Ferguson mystery series

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m running a contest!  I am giving away one signed, trade paperback version of Out of the Past (US residents only).  If you read and review the novel, let me know and you’ll be entered into a drawing for the paperback copy.  When the novel has ten reviews on Amazon, I’ll do the drawing (one in ten odds, not bad :)).  Email me at renee@reneepawlish.com to let me know you reviewed the book and I’ll enter you into the drawing.

Thanks to everyone for supporting this series!

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