Friday, October 29, 2010

Authors No Longer Compete With Themselves!!!

Used to be when I first published at Delacorte, one of the last things an agent or editor wanted was for an author to publish two books at the same time. They called this splitting sales. In other words, by publishing two books at the same time, an author ran the risk of competing with him or herself.

Now, with the new indie publishing model, it seems that authors don't compete with themselves by publishing more than one book at the same time, they simply get more sales and more space on the infinite virtual bookshelf. And in some cases sales can be multiplied not by two, but by exponential numbers.

Recently, StoneGate Ink re-released my novel As Catch Can, under the new title The Innocent.
I was a bit nervous because my new thriller, The Remains had been doing so well, having hit the number 1 spot in Amazon Hard-Boiled Hot New Releases and also becoming a bestseller in romantic suspense. I wasn't sure how good an idea it would be to bring out a new book when the paper edition of The Remains hadn't even been released yet.

But just last week I met up with my publisher in Boise, Idaho for a book conference and as he was driving me from the airport to a local radio station for an interview, he revealed that both books are neck and neck in bestselling sales.

I was floored. How can that be? Shouldn't books be competing with one another for those sales? Apparently today's readers, especially those who enjoy reading off their Kindles, Nooks, IPads, and other EReaders, can't get enough of an author they enjoy. And that suits me just fine, because I'm gaining new readers everyday. And when the Kindle price comes down in November, I'll potentially double my readership over the following few months. And that doesn't include the readers who will pick up the paper editions of my new books.

My publisher just informed me that he is upping the pub date for the re-release of my novel, Godchild. He's also planning on packaging it along with The Innocent in a box "Keeper Marconi" set. And immediately following that, my new novel which is also the first in a new series starring the beautiful but brassy construction business owner/amateur detective Spike Harrison (she carries a framing hammer instead of a gun), The Concrete Pearl, will be released.

We expect sales to go through the roof, not split it. And we owe it all to you, the voracious reader.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Famous Authors? I Got You Beat Man!!!

I'm sitting in an airport in St. Paul, awaiting a flight that will take me to the Boise Book Expo. Directly ahead of me is a bookstore called "Authors" which I've never heard from. The store sports a classy facade. Mahogany pillars, and all these over-sized, fake ceramic piled on top of one another. I don't get it. Well, ok, I get it, but it's a little much.

Anyway, the shelves are full of books by "Famous Authors."

I've been here for more than an hour, and not a single traveler has even browsed the "famous author" section. On occasion, a woman or man has entered and purchased a magazine, but never a book. maybe people don't by books by famous authors between the hours of 8 and 10 in St. Paul. But I doubt that's the case.

Now, just a few minutes ago, I worked the social network a little. Befriended a couple of readers on Goodreads, asked politely and respectfully to simply "checkout" my new bestsellers. One of them came back to me and wrote, "Looks like the kind of books for me." He immediately downloaded a copy of my new one, The Innocent. He said if he liked it as much as he thinks he will, he'll download my other bestseller, The Remains.

I'm still staring at Authors, still peering at all those famous authors just crapping the bed...I just sold a book. And if dude likes it, he'll buy more. And more importantly, he'll tell his friends to buy more and they'll tell their friends. And no one, has to go to a silly looking bookstore in an airport to do it. They just push a button on their Kindle.

On to Boise.....

To order all my really cool books and digital shorts, go to my website by clicking right here!!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Writing Advice for Newbies!

"The Young Norman Mailer got his advice from...from...Actually, I don't think anyone ever told Norman what to do!"

Lately, a lot of interviewers have been asking me to lend some advice to newbie writers, especially
young people just starting out. So I decided to offer some of that advice here on the Vox. For better or worse, here it is:

1. Stay in school. No writer who has to work three jobs as a dishwasher just to pay his rent ever managed to write the great American novel. Course I could be wrong here.

2. Read everything you can, starting with the classics, the Hemingways, the Faulkners, the Fitzgeralds, the Mailers, the Conrads, the Tolstoys…Skip the Dickens except for Tale of Two Cities. Especially read novels in your favorite genre. If you love noir, read all the Parker, Hammett, Spillane, Huston, and Zandri you can get your hands on. Then read some more.

3. Write like crazy, even if its just character sketches. Learn to pack the biggest punch using the least amount of words possible. And always keep a notebook with you at all times.

4. Be a newspaper reporter first. Write for an editor who demands timely, terse, 100-300 words pieces twice a day. Pieces that require a beginning, a middle and a resolution in the smallest amount of space possible. The job should be extremely low paying, and extremely high pressure. But do it anyway. Not only will you build up clips, but you will learn to work under pressure, when you don’t feel like it, when you’re hung over, when you’ve just found out your girlfriend is sleeping with your best friend behind your back, when an asteroid is approaching planet earth… Trust me, even Hemingway will tell you there is no better training for a would-be novelist.

5. Don’t be a newspaper reporter for too long. 3 to 5 years max. Then become a freelance writer and split your creative time between articles for magazines and newspapers, both online and paper (by 2020 it will be all online), and writing fiction. Write some short stories and try and get them published. Then start your novel. Don’t stop writing the novel until you have a complete draft, even if it’s crap. You can always edit or start another one.

6. Don’t get married or have children. You won’t be able to afford it. Also, for ten years or so, your writing will be both spouse and mistress. You're legal sig other won't be able to compete. have a boyfriend/girlfriend instead.

7. Share an apartment with friends if you can and don’t buy a new car. By a beater.

8. Get a passport and travel to as many destinations as you can. Never stay home for more than a couple of months at a time.

9. Live in Europe for a year. Europeans are different from Americans. They don’t place as a high value on making money the way we do.

10. Persevere, even when the dream seems impossible. Never give up!

To order the bestselling The Remains and The Innocent...just click on the titles!!!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wrongly Accused!


Have you ever been wrongly accused for something? Ever since I was a little kid,
I've been fascinated with the subject. Case and point: one Christmas eve my parents accused me of opening a gift before Christmas morning arrived. My dad was big stickler on that. No opening of gifts until after church on Christmas day. I recall both my parents flanking me and asking me in that accusatory tone, "Did you or did you not open that gift?" A boy of no more than 7 I stared at the black doctor's kit and I tried to recall: had I in fact torn away the paper and opened it? I most certainly did not I decided. And I proceeded to plead my case to my parents who weren't having any of it. They were convinced I'd done it and not my older sisters who could do no wrong. I was spanked and sent to my room.

Ok this isn't me having an Oprah moment. Parents aren't perfect and neither were mine. And God knows there are plenty of times that I suck watching over my brood! But that's the first time I can recollect being taught a very valuable lesson about being a member of the human race: Life ain't fair!

Years later I would put that lesson to work in my first full-length commercial thriller, The Innocent. It's about a prison warden, Keeper Marconi, wrongly accused of aiding and abetting the escape of a convicted cop killer. When that cop killer shows up murdered, Marconi must now face an accusation of murder one! What's he do to free his name? He does what any man who discovers everyone whom he ever trusted on God's earth is not who they seem. He goes on the lamb and breaks the law in order to do what's right.

I guess false accusations hit a sore spot with lots of people, because The Innocent is currently in the Top 40 for Hot New Releases on Amazon and also a Hard-Boiled bestseller. It's only been out for 5 days. I hope you pick it up and read it. Maybe then you'll realize that life isn't fair. But you'll also come to know that payback is a bitch!

To order The Innocent punch your clicker here!
To order the bestseller, The Remains, clicky here!