Friday, April 30, 2010

Cheap Sells Better

If you sell your ebook for $1.99, will the world of readers beat a path to your door? I've decided to find out. I reduced the price of The Surest Poison on Smashwords to the magic number. If you're not familiar with Smashwords, it's a website where  you can buy ebooks in various formats. They include .mobi for the Kindle, LRF for the Sony Reader, PDB for Palm reading devices, Epub for Stanza readers and others, HTML and JavaScript for online reading, PDF and RTF for downloads to computers.
You may be familiar with Joe Konrath, the author of the Jack Daniel mystery series, featuring a Chicago female cop. Joe is a promoter par excellence. He has a blog where he talks about book promotion. He contends that with books "cheap sells better." He's done a fabulous job selling his books for the Kindle on Amazon. Some people contend that his success results from the way he has promoted his name. He counters with this:

"When Grand Central released AFRAID as an ebook, they priced it at $1.99 for the first month. Keep in mind that Afraid was written by my pen name, Jack Kilborn, who had no built in fan base. In one month, Afraid sold 10,253 ebooks. Then, in May, they raised the price. Since then, it has sold only 3720 copies. If this were a name-recognition thing, the ebook would have continued to sell well. After all, the bestseller lists are filled with high-priced ebooks by name authors."

In another blog, Joe says his publisher sells about as many ebooks as print books, although statistically ebook sales currently represent only about 10 percent of total book sales. He clearly sees electronic publishing as the wave of the future. You can check out some of his thoughts at this link

His newest book on the blogsite is The Newbie's Guide to Publishing, which sells for for the Kindle at $2.99. He bills it as "over 360,000 words of advice." According to Joe, the 1100-page book is too large for a print copy. And if you don't want to spend the $2.99 for your very own ebook, you can download it to your computer for free at Joe's website.

Let's forget Joe for a moment. This is my little experiment with cut-rate bookselling. At this LINK  you can buy The Surest Poison for only $1.99. And HERE is the Smashwords page for the book, where you can read up to 30 percent for free. (If you read that much, you surely won't be able to wait to find out how it ends.) Tell all your friends and neighbors. This is scientific research, folks. Let's see what the month of May will bring. Heck, I may dance around the Maypole tomorrow if things look good.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Abducted by Aliens?

It isn't true! Those rumors that I was abducted by aliens or waylaid by one of the bad guys from a Greg McKenzie novel have no basis in fact. As a former Air Force type, I suppose you could say I've been AWOL for the past three months. The problem is I simply wasn't able to scrape up enough time to do this blog along with a weekly contribution to Murderous Musings, a semi-monthly post at Make Mine Mystery, various attempts at promoting my current five books (including putting The Surest Poison on Smashwords - you can download it in various ebook formats here for 99 cents through May 8 using Coupon Code LK26E), and get my fifth Greg McKenzie book finished.

The good news is that A Sporting Murder is finally done and in the editor's hands. It will be published in the fall. I hope to have a cover to show shortly.

It would've made a better story if I'd said I just escaped from Area 51 with a couple of reconstituted aliens who were unfrozen by a passing saucer. But I'd make a lousy sci fi writer. I'm too literal minded.  I don't even believe in vampires and werewolves.

So what do I believe in? I think there's something strange afoot in the solar system. The temperature hit close to 90 degrees in Nashville yesterday. And that's after we froze our butts off less than as month ago. An unbelievably snowy winter followed by a weirdly hot spring. What's up with that? I don't know if it's a case of global warming or global cooling. Maybe global confusing.
At Buttercup Festival with colleague Beth Terrell.

All I know is it was a  great day to be outdoors last Saturday in my new tent selling and signing my Greg McKenzie and Sid Chance books at the Buttercup Festival. Yep, you read that right. A celebration of the lowly buttercup in Nolensville, TN, a small town just to the south of Nashville. Sold a decent number of books and met some awfully nice people. (Putting awfully and nice together is good Southern talk.)

I don't want to bore you too badly on this first attempt to get back into the personal blogging game, so I'll mosey on to my next chore, taking grandson to his tutoring session and walking two miles at the mall. See you soon with something a bit more interesting, hopefully.