Saturday, September 29, 2012

Libraries Get It

The great Alexandrian Library: "Believe it or not, one day, the scroll will be replaced by something called a mass market paperback book..."

I'm week three into the re-release of five novels along with the release of two new novels: BLUE MOONLIGHT and THE DISAPPEARANCE OF GRACE. The former by a major, Thomas & Mercer of Amazon Publishing and the latter from an indie, StoneHouse Ink. While the "Blue" E-Book edition, especially Kindle, is being pushed in a major way, it's also available in paper and audio, etc. For the time being however, "Grace" is available in E-Book only. In the meantime the new editions of my five previously published novels are moving like crazy. In E-Book primarily.

You see where I'm going with this...

In the past three weeks I've moved more units of my novels than I did in an entire first year with Delacorte. No lie. Much of that has to do with the tremendous author support I am lucky enough to enjoy from Amazon Publishing (They are so good, they even push my independent books, if you can imagine that...), but it also has a lot to do with the changing nature of publishing. E-Books have been and are now becoming the most popular way by which we read. The mass market paperback is quickly disappearing. So is the hardcover while the trade paperback takes over the roll of both.

This leaves me in a bit of a conundrum. I find myself wanting to do some in-person promotion of my books, aside from the stuff I do at several writerly book conferences every year (I never sell many books at these things anyway since they are attended primarily by other writers and all we do is have fun eating and drinking together). But approaching brick and mortar bookstores with the prospect of a book signing in support of paper being published by their major competitor is probably a road I want to avoid. And besides, book signings are always a gamble anyway. In short, they suck.

But there are other avenues to explore. Schools, universities, and hell, even book signings at coffee shops and my favorite, the local corner gin mill. And then there's the holy grail of book venues: the library. I have always been a fan of libraries and the fact that no matter what happens in terms of the evolutionary/de-evolutionary business/retail aspect of writing, the library will always withstand the test of time. A place to store many volumes, both ancient and new, as well as a place to share and exchange ideas. From Socretes to Stephen King, the library has always been a refuge for the intellectual, for the hopeful, the creative, the thinker, and the dreamer.

That clearly in mind, I contacted the head rep for my local library system, the Albany Public Library and asked her about setting up an event much like the one we did for Moonlight Falls back in 2010. This one would be in Dec/Jan in conjunction with yet another new Thomas & Mercer novel, MURDER BY MOONLIGHT, a fictional take on the infamous Porco axe murder case which hit New York's Capital region some years back. She was happy to hear from me for more than one reason. I played drums in her band a while ago, and we are friends. She was delighted to set up an event for "Murder." But just as I was about to tell her how great the trade paperback version of "Murder" looked, she said, "We're really pushing E-Books these days."

I must admit, I was taken a bit back. Me, the king of E-Books.

Libraries pushing E-Books...What a concept.

That said, my library event will more than likely be about the E-Book version of my brand new book and it will take place inside the hallowed halls of an institution older than even the world's most ancient cathedral. But then, E-Books are becoming far more popular than paper and libraries recognize this. Doesn't mean they are about to give up their paper. Just means they are adapting. Can't say the same thing about bookstores. But something tells me they'll get it eventually. Hopefully before it's too late.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Dick Moonlight Series in its Proper Order

The newest Moonlights have now been released by Thomas & Mercer of Amazon Publishing, the most powerful publishing house in the universe...The Dick Moolights have been coming at you at a pretty hot and heavy rate lately. That's a lot of dick (Ha!). And understandably, a lot of fans, or would be fans (fingers crossed), are asking me to place them in order so that they might start from the beginning of this very remarkable and uniquely Zandri series (I'm shaking my head and rolling my eyes for you...).

So here goes:
1. Moonlight Falls
2. Moonlight Mafia
3. Moonlight Rises
4. Blue Moonlight
5. Murder By Moonlight (Coming December 18, 2012)
6. Moonlight Sonata (Coming Spring 2013) 

So that's the run down peeps....Also, check out the new covers on Moonlight Falls Uncut and Moonlight Mafia which have been updated by StoneGate Ink in order to reflect the fine art the team at Thomas & Mercer did on all the other Moonlight novels.

Happy reading...and to order your Dick Moonlights....Go to:


Thursday, September 13, 2012

"The 5-Star Dilemma" by Guest Blogger, Author and Book Promoter SB Knight

Now that the whole world knows about the Amazon Review cheating scandal that has wreaked havoc on the fiction  industry, and in particular, the indie fiction industry, it seems that a day doesn't go buy when another author and/or institution isn't exposed for writing fraudulent reviews. The newest cheater in a pool of cheaters is a bookstore whose staff wrote and posted 1-Star reviews for authors like myself who were kicking ass in the Kindle charts.

A bookstore?

Well, I guess it makes sense. They don't want people to buy online. I don't have a whole lot of 1-Star reviews, but there are a few that I possess in which the "reviewer" went out of his or her way to be a complete jerk, picking apart my pose pronoun for pronoun. Oh, well, as the world turns.

Today my guest blogger, SB Knight, author and book promoter, gives us his unique take on a unique situation that is only now, blowing up in the faces of those who feel it necessary to cheat in order to get by.

The 5 Star Dilemma 

I believe by now everyone has read the articles about John Locke, Stephen Leathers, and RJ Ellroy. I also believe many are as confused as I am at the fact that these well known authors would stoop to such practices. It is another example of what some would do in the name of fame and fortune. Was it worth it? I would imagine the three above would answer yes before they were caught…now it would be a resounding no as their writing careers hang by a thread over a cliff.
We have heard the responses of bestselling authors such as Vincent Zandri, Anne Rice, and many others who oppose and reject these underhanded practices. With every published article, post, and letter their anger is clear and concise. However, I am what you would call ‘green’ or an amateur author. My debut novel released in March and my second novel releases in October. What does all this business about fake reviews and attacking competitors have to do with me? I mean, I’m trying to climb the ladder and reach the same level as Zandri, Rice, and King. Did I mention I’m only on the first rung of that ladder? So I ask again, what does this business mean to me? It means everything.
You see, the bestselling authors are angry about this and they should be but the new authors out there like me, we feel something different. Make no mistake, anger is there but so is despair, fear, and concern. While bestselling authors can rely on name recognition, to a certain degree, new authors have to establish their name first. Reviews are a key element in achieving that recognition; plus it helps generate word of mouth promoting.  Of course this goes without saying that you need the skill to craft a solid, compelling story. New authors go to great lengths to find people and/or reviewers who will agree to read and review their work. Trust me on this; I don’t see Stephen King having a problem finding people who will review his latest novel. Now you throw in a handful of well known, established, and successful authors who chose to pay for stellar reviews, write their own reviews, and/or write poor reviews for their competition and where does that leave us? What if Amazon states that you can only leave a book review if you purchased the book from Amazon? A lot of reviews would be instantly eliminated. New authors would be hard pressed to convince a reviewer to purchase their book and not all of us have the budget to purchase a copy so a reviewer can review it on Amazon.
There is another aspect to this that impacts all authors, new and established, and that is perception. At this moment my debut novel, Born of Blood, has ten reviews on Amazon – eight, five star reviews and two, four star reviews. I should be thrilled by this but a small voice in the back of my mind is asking – will people think I bought these reviews or had my friends write these reviews? At times I wish I would get a bad review so it would validate the good reviews. Think about that for a moment; I should not want a bad review. The posted reviews should stand on their own but, thanks to a handful of authors, it has come to this. It almost seems like the 5 star rating has been tarnished.
What is the solution to this problem? I have no idea. I do know that I will keep writing and asking for honest reviews, be it good or bad. I also believe that each author will be held accountable for their own actions and decisions.
It’s tough trying to establish your name in the harsh publishing world but we have authors like Zandri, King, and many others to look at as examples. They made it and each has a war story to validate their journey. They didn’t resort to fake reviews or bashing other authors either.

SB Knight is the up and coming author of Born of Blood, Drago’s Revenge (October 12), and Demathia Rising (March 13). He is also the creator of The New Author blog and co-owner of Premium Promotional Services. You can learn more about SB Knight and his novels at Also be sure to join SB Knight on Twitter and Facebook.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Release Me...Let Me Go!

I had six books released five days ago.
I'm still trying to wrap that number around my finger...get a grip on it.

Two of those titles are brand new releases...Well, scratch that. One of them, Blue Moonlight, is brand new. The other, The Concrete Pearl, is almost brand new, having been published originally about a year ago with hot indie publisher, StoneGate Ink....

The other books are as follows (click on the website link below if you want buy some):

The Remains
The Innocent
Moonlight Rises....

All of the books are doing great right out of the gate and I'm not surprised. My new publisher is Thomas & Mercer of Amazon Publishing. While my agent could have accepted similar deals in terms of advance money from other, more traditional publishers, I would not even entertain the thought of it. I've been published by the traditional majors in the past and trust me when I say you are pretty much on your own when publication date arrives. They put your out to sea in a rubber raft. If you happen to make it to dry land unscathed, they gladly take credit for putting you on the right course. If you drift in circles and die from starvation, then well, it's your own damned fault. 

Not so with Amazon Publishing. Just yesterday I received an email from my marketing staff, detailing (in bullet form) their initial marketing plan. That's right, "initial." In the words of one of my peeps at T&M, "We are on fire for you!" That's the kind of enthusiasm and support that takes my breath away. And the numbers show it. While "Pearl" is closing in on the top 500 in overall Kindle sales, "Blue" is edging its way towards the top 1000. And the others are holding their own nicely. Paper and European/Asian sales are also beginning to happen as well.   

When I think back to where I was just five years ago after having published two books under two Random House imprints and how dreadful an experience it was, I shake my head and shiver. It's a new world and the new publishing model is quickly dismantling an old system that worked for only a few, very wealthy people, while writers were considered a necessary evil.

I'm embracing it. Are you?