Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Competing with the Living and the Dead

"In this corner we've got the No. 6 Hot New Hard-Boiled Bestseller, Dash Hemmett with The Thin Man...In the other corner we've got No. 7..."

That title is misleading since in the world of E-Books, there's infinite room for everyone, right? Nothing gets remaindered due to lack of shelf space, nothing goes out of print because the publisher is either board with promoting your work or not enough pennies are coming in to support the support of your published novel. No book ever goes away. Nothing ever dies. Your spot in the E-Book store is just as prominent as a major A-list writer like James Patterson.

Or is it?

Lately I've noticed something funny happening. As the E-Book versions of my novels like the special edition "Sweet Dreams"/"The Remains" enter into the Amazon bestseller lists and/or the Amazon Hot New Bestselling Release lists, that a competition of a sort truly does exist. Real competition. And not just with other bestselling independent and established authors. I find myself competing with a whole bunch of dead guys.

Listen, I mean no disrespect. A lot of these dead guys I speak of are heros. But what's happening is that despite big publishing still proclaiming paper to be their primary means of survival, what they also realize is that Kindle has been crowned the new King. Which also means they can now reintroduce a whole bunch of books to a whole new generation of readers who love their Kindles. Which is fine by me, but as an author, how strange does it feel being book-ended by Dash Hammett and Ross MacDonald? How even stranger does it feel to be competing (yes competing!) for that coveted number one spot with a dead dude!

To better stress my point, this past summer, my publisher StoneGate Ink published a new digital short of mine. Actually, there wasn't anything new about it. True Stories is one of my most anthologized short stories and since it has a True Crime as well as a literary flair to it, they decided to put it back out, only this time on the digital market. Not only did it hit the True Crime bestselling Kindle list but it hit Drama as well, right smack behind a very dead but somehow still alive Mr. William Shakespeare.

Welcome to a future in which no one dies. Not really anyway.


  1. At least you find yourself in good company. Good luck on the books, Vincent.

  2. Such a weird, transitory time in publishing. You're a master at riding the wave, though, Vin... keep up the great work, brother.

  3. Interesting pov V...I'm excited to get to know these old authors that are new to me. Great Post

  4. Very interesting! Well, I'm currently reading Zandri on my Kindle, not any dead guys. ;)

  5. I'm glad to hear no one dies. Our Lord isn't willing that any should perish.