Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Article Info: e-Book Prices

 In this article: www.rubyslipperedsisterhood.com/thomas-deprima-over-140000-indie-books-sold-at-a-price-that-might-surprise-you/, Thomas DePrima is interviewed. There were some very interesting comments. These two stuck out for me:
"Like most people, I’m playing it one day at a time right now as we try to determine what’s going to happen in this industry. I’m also working to expand my distribution channels. Amazon has struck a serious blow to Kindle fiction book sales for the immediate future and beyond, so I have to find other outlets for my books."
I'm seeing this in Amazon sales. I used to sell between 20 and 50 books a day on Amazon. Now, I'm lucky to sell 7 on Amazon, even with 27 different titles. Why should readers buy my books when there are so many freebies every day? Thanks to KDP Select, the Amazon market has changed for Indies, and not for the better.
And let us not forget the immortal words of Thomas Paine, a self-pubber who wrote in 1776, "What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly. It is dearness only which gives everything its value."
This is so true. I see more trolls harassing books that are free or 99 cents. They have no respect for such books. I get emails from people selling books all the time and have seen books that are around 2,000 words (about ten pages) selling for $2.99. So why do my books, that are all over 70,000 words, selling for $2.99 considered too expensive? And yes, I've had one review like that on one of my books on Amazon. The reader was upset that I raised my book prices from 99 cents to $2.99. It's all about respect. Some of my books are more than a hundred thousand words (around 400 pages). If I followed the industry, those books would be more than $5.99. But I keep them around $2.99-$3.99. I look at a Vente Latte at Starbucks, for about $4. My books last longer than that latte, and I put a LOT more effort into the product and have to pay out a LOT more to publish that book (the cover, the ISBN, the software to create the book, the laptop, etc.). So why do readers think my books should be free? I'd love to hear your comments on this topic. Smiles, Markee

New Book Release! 'Touching the Love of a Texas Sunset'



Book 2 in the Three Cross Faith series: Jaimee Sherman has to leave her job in Seattle to sell her brother's house in the Three Cross, Texas area. Christian recording artist Austin Cole lives on the ranch beside the home. Since his wife, Niki, is pregnant, they ask Jaimee to help them. In exchange, they'll fix up her brother's house and sell it for her. Jaimee loves her job and falls for one of the ranch hands who's also a member of Austin's band, Mac Cooper.

Jaimee realizes she's in over her head trying to keep the secret of her past non-Christian life while taking care of Austin's home and dating Mac. It's not until her ex-boyfriend shows up on Austin's doorstep and takes her hostage that she has to come clean and tell the group about being held in an evil cult growing up.

This full-length book contains about 104,900 words.

Chapter 1

"Llamas! I hate llamas. Who'd ever want to buy a llama farm in the middle of Texas? I mean, it's hot here, and to sell it in August?" Jaimee Sherman wiped her brow, bent down, and hammered the 'for sale' sign into the ground in front of the ranch as she talked to herself. "And where is this place called Deerlick, Texas? I can just see it now, 'Oh, I'd like a ranch, but I can't find the town. I've lived all over Texas, but there is no town called Deerlick.' So, I'd say to them, 'it's near the cosmopolitan city of Three Cross, south of Midland.'" She rolled her eyes. "'It has a church, a grocery store, and a gas station. Oh, and don't forget the four-way stop.' The people would just walk away and laugh at me, making me broke within a week."

She hit the sign again, sinking it well into the ground. At least no one from her past would find her in this town, because no one could find this town. So she did feel safe, which was a good thing.

If she could just get this ranch to sell, she could return to her life where she did feel safe. She'd already legally listed the place when she was in Seattle, and decided it should sell 'as is' so she wouldn't have to put any work into it. Granted, she'd have to stay here until it sold, but it couldn't be that bad, since it had been her brother's house, right? Yeah. It would sell. Jaimee just hoped it would be fast, because every moment she spent in Texas, she was losing money.

As soon as the motor from a car sounded behind her, she turned to see a dark blue minivan coming toward her from the north. "Great. A soccer mom. A hick soccer mom. That has to be the worst combination there is."

She really had to stop talking to herself or people would think she was crazy.

The car stopped near her driveway, pulling to the side of the road. A tall brown-haired man wearing a Stetson hat got out of the driver's seat first, followed by a pregnant blonde woman from the passenger's seat. The woman helped a young blonde girl from behind the passenger's seat, while a really good-looking man sporting a big smile, stepped out from the seat behind the driver. The smiling man was also wearing a Stetson, but she could see a hint of light brown hair and blue eyes under the hat. She nicknamed him 'Smiley' in her mind.

"Howdy," the tall brown-haired man said in a strong Texas accent. He pulled the pregnant woman to his side while holding the hand of the little girl. "Are you new in these parts?"

Jaimee pushed back her hair that had fallen from her ponytail. "Sort of. I'm selling this farm. My brother had to 'find' himself and bought all these llamas, then told me to sell it after he eloped and ran off to Maine or some other place I never want to visit." She studied their stunned stares. "I'm rambling, aren't I?"

"No." The woman glanced toward the man. "I'm Niki Cole, this is my husband Austin, and our daughter, Sarah." She turned toward the lighter-haired man. "And this is Mac Cooper."

Jaimee shook Austin's hand and bent to shake Sarah's hand as well. "And how old are you?"

"I'm four. My momma's having another baby soon, but it won't be on my birthday." Her accent was adorable and very Texan.

"When's your birthday?"

"The same day as Momma's." She looked over at Niki. "Christmas day."

"That's cool." Jaimee straightened up and faced Niki. "So you gave birth on your birthday?"

"No, I'm really her stepmom. Her real mom died when she was less than a year old. But I've adopted her and now she can call me Mom."

"You're not from Texas," Jaimee said.

"No, I'm originally from Pennsylvania. We're your neighbors." Niki pointed back down the road.

"Well, I won't be living here long—just until I get a buyer. My name's Jaimee Sherman, by the way."

Smiley, also known as Mac, looked confused. "You're Ned Sherman's sister?" His accent was also southern, sounding a lot like Austin.

"Yes, I am." She reached over and shook his hand, feeling the warmth and strength of his grip. From the roughness of his hands, he was a hard worker. She wondered if she could make a sale. "He called me right after he bought this place and told me to get a real estate license in Texas, so I could sell it for him."

"I knew Ned. So he's not living here any longer?"

"No, not pathetic Ned." Jaimee rolled her eyes. "He came to visit me in Seattle and met my roommate. That's all it took and they were off in three days, getting married in Vegas. I think he had someone helping him here, but now they're gone. I'm stuck feeding animals I don't trust or like."

Mac chuckled. "That's hilarious. You look nothing like him. He had dark hair and dark eyes, but your hair's red with bright green eyes. I never would've guessed you were his brother. Why would he ever ask you to sell the place for him? We have people here who sell ranches."

"I'm a real estate agent in Seattle, and he thinks I can find someone to buy this place." She turned toward the huge farmhouse with a sigh. "I don't know why they would, unless they're as stupid as my brother and have a death wish to be eaten by llamas." Jaimee covered her mouth as she spun toward their laughter. "Sorry about that. I have a tendency to speak my mind."

"Don't worry about it," Niki said. "Would you like to come to our house for dinner?"

"Well, I don't know what's in the refrigerator or freezer here. I just got into town, and my first job was to put up this sign. I guess I have to figure out how to feed llamas. What does a llama look like, anyway?"

Mac and Austin both chuckled, biting their lips.

Mac walked closer, his blue eyes very striking. She was impressed with his appearance, almost looking like a model in a magazine, but very rugged. "Tell you what," he said. "I'll help you then we can go to their ranch for dinner."

"Are you invited, too? Is this some sort of meeting of hot manly men?" she asked, then covered her eyes. "Sorry about that. I'm so embarrassed."

As she uncovered her eyes, she saw Mac shake his head while he laughed, glancing toward Austin.

"Yes, he's invited," Niki said, chuckling. "He works at our place, and all the workers are invited tonight. They're working hard on the ranch and they'll probably be working late, practicing. We were just headed to see Austin's brother down the street, but that can wait."

"Practicing? Practicing what? Feeding animals?" Jaimee laughed at her own joke. Mac finally let out a low laugh, the sound filling her heart.

"No," Austin said with a grin. "We have a band and we're practicing tonight. Want to listen to the band, too?"

She felt the confusion cover her face. "A band? What type of band?"

"Christian band," Mac said. His hands flew to his hips as if he was ready for a fight.

"Cool," Jaimee said. "What's the name of the band?"

"Three Cross Faith," Austin said. "We're known nationwide, and they can't keep up with sales. They've had to keep making the CDs because they're flying off the shelves." He chuckled and glanced toward his wife. "Our manager, here, is doing a great job."

"Three Cross Faith," Jaimee said. "Wait. I know that group. I've heard of you guys. You're the Stetson guys, with the hot smiling guitarist." She spun toward Mac. "You! You're the good-looking guitarist with the big smile. I've seen your CD cover."

Mac laughed, shaking his head. "Yeah, I'm the only one who was smiling on that cover. We're practicing tonight at Austin's house."

Jaimee lowered her eyes and kicked at a pebble, putting her hands behind her back. "Um, I have a confession. I've never actually heard your group, but I've seen the cover." She looked up and faced them. "Does that count?"

"Honesty gets you everywhere," Mac said. "Where did you see the cover?'

"This guy I know has it, and we were sort of dating and he still thinks we're dating, but I'm not sure any more. He got it for a gag gift." She covered her face with her hand. "I tell too much all the time."

All three of the adults laughed as Jaimee removed her hand. She'd never been more embarrassed, but they didn't seem to mind at all.

"Well, you'll hear it and I promise it's no gag," Austin said. "I think you'll like it."

"I did go to church, sort of," she said, but winced. "I'm rambling again, aren't I?"

Niki nodded. "I'll help you, because I understand it." She glanced toward Mac. "Just come on over when you're done. Want us to bring you a car?"

"Uh…" He looked over at Jaimee. "Want to walk less than a mile to their house?"

"No way. I have a rental and I can drive."

"Nope," Mac said. "I'll be back as soon as we get home. I can't let a woman drive me around." He tipped his Stetson with a grin. "Ma'am, I'll be back in a jiffy to help with your llamas."

Niki reached out and shook Jaimee's hand. "Welcome to Deerlick, even if it's just temporary."

Austin lifted Sarah into his arms and she shook Jaimee's hand, too. "Nice to meet you, ma'am," the young girl said in a sweet southern drawl.

After Austin shook her hand, they all got back into the van, made a u-turn, and drove off.

Jaimee straightened her ponytail and headed back into the house, the August heat making the sweat roll down her skin.

As soon as she opened the door, she wrinkled her nose, grimacing at all the weird new-age furniture inside. She really had to get everything out of the place. Her brother had issues and she couldn't wait to get back to her life in Seattle.

At least the original house had character, with a beautiful big stone fireplace in the living room and a potbelly stove in the dining room. But the downstairs was very cut up and dark because of all the walls.

The sound of the doorbell made her run toward the door. As soon as she opened it, her eyebrows flew upward. Mac stood in front of her. "You came back?"

"Of course. I can't let you deal with the llamas alone." He walked inside, staring into the living room on the left and the dining room on the right. "What interesting furniture."

She shook her head. "Lime green and pink plastic is interesting? It's downright ugly. I think my brother's insane or brain damaged. Want something to drink?"

"Sure. Do you have any soda? Austin doesn't like us drinking soda during the day, because it makes us thirstier."

"I honestly don't know, but let's find out." She headed into the kitchen as he followed behind. But when she opened the refrigerator door, it was completely empty. "Well, it's not there." She tried the freezer, which was also empty, then opened the pantry. Six cases of cola sat on the floor with nothing else inside.

"I think this is a magic door," she said. "I wonder if there would be ice inside if I'd close it and open it again."

Mac chuckled and picked up two colas from the floor. "These are really hot. Do you have air conditioning in this place? It's hot in here."

She shrugged. "Beats me. I'll find out some day, probably in the winter."

He walked around the corner and she followed. "Here's the thermostat," he said. "It's set to seventy-five and heat. No wonder it's hot in here." He reset the thermostat, headed back to the kitchen, and put the drinks in the freezer.

"I'm not very good at domestic things," she said. "I think I might need to do some work on this house to make it sell."

"If you don't have buyers who like lime or pink, then yes, you're right." He touched the wall. "This Chinese-looking wallpaper won't make it down here."

"You're hired," Jaimee said, heading toward the back door. "I need someone to tell me about the local culture."

"I don't know if I'm good at that, either. You need to talk to Niki. She's good at everything."

"Everything?" Jaimee turned toward him, staring into his eyes. "What does that mean?"

"She cooks, she cleans, she plays with Sarah, and she helps with the band. She even helped on the farm when she could. Austin's a lucky man, because she loves him and loves her life. She keeps a smile on her face all day long."

"Do you want her?"

"No," he said. "I don't want any married women. I only date single women, if I decide to ever date again."

"Oh, so you want someone just like her?" Jaimee asked, nodding. That made more sense. He didn't seem to be the type to take other men's wives.

"Nope. I think any man would want a woman who can be independent and take care of herself, yet has a fun personality." His eyebrows lowered. "Why are you asking me this?"

"I'm curious. I'm doing research for local culture." She spun around and opened the back door with a chuckle.

He followed, shutting the door behind him.

"He has four llamas, I think." She turned toward him. "Do you know what a llama is? Is it like an alpaca?"

He nodded and pointed. "I think you have more than four."

Once she turned, her mouth fell open at the sight. "That looks like at least twenty or thirty of those monsters. What now?"

"Pray," Mac said, chuckling. "I think that's your only option."

Even though she didn't know how to pray, he was so right.

Buy Links:
Smashwords All Romance eBooks OmniLit Amazon Amazon UK Amazon DE Amazon ES Amazon IT Barnes & Noble

Eryn Grace

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Article info: Expresso Book Machine

 Check this out. There are these 'expresso book machines' that'll print out your choice of book as you watch, bind it, and spit it out for you.


For indie authors, you just email the book content and send it to the bookstore. They print it out for you.

Look at this page, and you'll see what it looks like, and the self-publishing program: http://ondemandbooks.com/self_publishing.php

Amazing. These types of places were predicted years ago, but it never came to fruition, or so I thought.


Another New Kindle?

 In an effort to compete against the Nook's new backlit e-reader, Amazon is coming out with another new Kindle. See here: Reuters.com 'Amazon aims to launch front-lit Kindle in July: source'.

Personally, I love the idea of competition. It brings out the best in a company, making the technology improve. But why just copy the competition and not make something better? This new Kindle also has a shorter battery life, which makes sense.

I'd like to see an e-reader with a USB port. That way, I can give out my book easier, just sending a jump drive containing the .mobi or .epub, or every possible format for any reader.

What would you like to see in a new type of e-reader?


Article Info: Book Marketing Ideas

 So a friend of mine sent me this link: 89 Book Marketing Ideas that will Change Your Life. I've been looking for a list of new ideas for a while, so this is a blessing.

There are some good ones on there. Take a look.

What works best for you?


Monday, May 14, 2012

Article Info: Are You Writing A Book a Month? Or is it more like a Book a Year?

 Wow. Check out this article: NY Times--'Writer’s Cramp: In the E-Reader Era, a Book a Year Is Slacking'.

Big authors are being told to write more, so they're not forgotten. Right before a big release, the big publishers also want the authors to put out a novella, so their name's out there for everyone to see.

So is more better? I'm not so sure, but it does help with marketing. However, most people have 'day jobs' and can't write as much as someone who's home all the time (and refuses to clean because of her 'writing job'--um...that's me). Is it possible to write a book a month, from scratch? I release around a book or so a month, but mine are already written and on my computer, so that doesn't count.

The market is evolving, for sure. This is a 'I want it now' society, however, if I wait for something, it seems so much sweeter than having it instantly.

What do you think?

Smiles, Markee

NEW BOOK! 'Do You Need a Doggie Bag?' by Andie Alexander


*** Book 3 in the Extreme Travel Series ***

To waylay Kes' fake PTSD, the CIA sends the group on a cruise to the west coast of Mexico. At a port, Kes and James buy a homeless boy a meal, endangering the entire cruise ship when the child's kidnappers want revenge. It's up to the team to keep all the passengers out of the hands of a slavery ring, while not tipping their hand that they're agents.

Book 1: 'Get Me Out of Africa'

Book 2: 'Voo Do Love Me!'

Book 3: 'Do You Need a Doggie Bag?'


Someone was in my apartment. I knew it before I unlocked my door at the end of a long day of work. I always locked the deadbolt, and from past experience, I'd learned to wedge a small toothpick near the bottom of the door.

But now, the toothpick was gone and the deadbolt wasn't locked.

I reached into my purse and removed my brand new gun. After easing back the bottom lock, I turned the doorknob, peeked inside, and entered the apartment, trying not to make any noise.

No one was in the main room of the huge apartment that contained my living room, dining room, and kitchen. Even though I saw no one, I kept my gun in front of me.

The toilet flushed in the bathroom, which was off the bedroom to my right. The culprit must be waiting for me, even though he or she was noisy. I removed my coat and threw it on the back of a dining room chair. No one came out of the bathroom, so I hid around the corner from the door to my bedroom and peeked around the doorjamb. It was definitely a man, because he started to hum.

With my gun at arm's length, I inched my way into my bedroom. A tall, blond-haired man left the bathroom. This was my chance to take the guy down.

I lifted the gun up to the side of his head. "Freeze!"

To read more of the excerpt, go to www.andiealexander.com.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

What Would Your Mobster Nickname Be?

 If you're writing about mobsters, this article might just be what you need: Ever Wonder How Mobsters Got Their Nicknames?

Interesting information. I wonder what my 'mobster nickname' would be? Slug writer, since I sit at the computer all day? LOL! What's your mobster nickname?

Smiles, Markee

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Whew! I'm SO glad I didn't go the traditional publishing route!

 Check out this blog article: www.thepassivevoice.com/05/2012/kriss-post-spread-the-word/.

First, I'm sorry Kris Rusch's blog was hacked. That's just mean and nasty. She has a lot of good information.  I hate hackers, too.  Don't they have better things to do with their time?

Second, she's opened my eyes to a) shady, greedy agents, and b) nasty trad publishing tactics. Take a look at the article and see if some contract of yours (if you're in trad publishing) is shady. If so, your agent isn't on the up-and-up, because they should've found it. If you're like me, thank the lucky stars that you've gone indie.

Just amazing!

Smiles, Markee

Thursday, May 10, 2012

#buyindie...from bxretlind.com

 I think I love this guy. If you haven't read the blog about #buyindie, go here: http://bxwretlind.com/blog/buyindie/. It's all about supporting indie authors, making it easier to find each other on twitter. Take a look and help out a struggling indie author. :) Smiles, Markee

Monday, May 7, 2012

Promo site: FrontRow Lit

A really nice guy followed me on twitter this past week, and I followed up on his email. He works at FrontRow Lit. If you click on the submissions page, you can see what they expect:

Submission requests for published/self-published books:

  1. Synopsis of story
  2. Excerpt (preferably 1,500 to 2,000 words)
  3. Author bio
  4. Picture of cover art (preferably in JPG format)
  5. Links requested to be included in post (website, blog, Amazon page, etc.)
  6. Front Row Lit services are free of charge
  7. Every submission is also considered for publication in Front Row Monthly magazine, a digital, page-flip publication currently being read in more than 50 countries.

I tried it and man, I'm impressed!  I sent in one book, explaining that I have 25 published books right now.  He wanted all of them, eventually, but I initially sent him six (different pen names).  He's booked until June right now, but I figure it can't hurt!

So try them out.  Check out the web page and email Adam (the contact person).  I'll let you know when my books come up in June.  Very cool!  Thank you, FrontRow Lit!


Article Info: 'The Kindle Index: What City Buys the Most E-Readers?'

 I have a friend who sends me amazing articles and blog entries about writing and ebooks. This article is really cool. theatlantic.com.

It shows the most e-literate cities in America. What interested me the most is that many of these cities is in the north. They also have a graph that shows colder cities reading more by Kindles. It's a very interesting article.

Smiles, Markee

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Six Parts to Writing a Book: Part 1--Writing the Book of Your Dreams

 I write for Triond.com under the name 'Paige Ryter.' I've decided to share some of what I've learned about writing and publishing a book for Triond. The first in a series of six parts has been published, and can be found under: www.writinghood.com. Take a look and feel free to comment. My next part will be 'Editing the Book of Your Dreams.' Smiles, Markee

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What a Game Changer! Microsoft invests in Nook/Digital books...

 I woke up this morning to hear that Microsoft will be pumping $605 million into Barnes & Noble's Nook and college business market.

See reference here: (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp is jumping into the fast-growing e-books market by investing $605 million over five years in Barnes & Noble Inc's Nook e-reader and college business, as it looks to unlock Amazon.com and Apple Inc's grip on the exploding tablet computer market. From the article, "Microsoft's initial investment of $300 million, which will give it a 17.6 percent stake in the newly created Barnes & Noble subsidiary, values the new unit at $1.7 billion. Over the next five years, Microsoft has committed to invest another $305 million."

So what does that mean?

According to smartmoney.com, (Are the E-Reader’s Days Numbered?), Microsoft will up the ante, by shifting digital books toward "computers, cellphones, and tablets – not just traditional e-readers."

But for us, the authors, it's a huge game changer. Knowing Microsoft, they have a tendency to rule the market. That means all of those books I didn't put onto Amazon's KDP Select and left on Pubit as well, gathering sales and sales numbers will finally pay off.

My sales on Amazon have slowed to almost a stand-still. I suspect Amazon's KDP Select is to blame, since I didn't jump on the band wagon, but chose to keep my books at other outlets, to still give books away to the troops. I'm now selling most of my books on Nook.

Time will tell if this investment pays off for the indie writer, but I certainly hope it does. If Microsoft helps develop anything for Barnes & Noble, I figure it can only help sales.

Cross your fingers, we're in for a roller coaster ride!

Smiles, Markee