Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Amazon, Marketing My Ebook and PRICE?!

Publishing giant Hachete wants to change $19.95 for ebooks -- and they have their authors out on the streets, hawking the idea.  Heh, go for it if you can get it.  For me, the challenge is to get enough fans so I can have a big publishing company ask me to hawk their price-gouging practices!

My mystery thriller, In Gallup, Greed started out with a kindle price of $4.99.  My adorable fans bought it right way.  But, let's face it, that's only about 50 people.  That left me with good reviews and no buyers.

But, I have short stories --- in the same mystery thriller series.  I gave away free copies of each for a month.  mmm...maybe a few books a week.  Think of it, FIVE pieces of potential advertising -- In Dulce, Disturbed, In Zuni, Zymotic, In Santa Fe, Salacious, In Roswell, Re-Abducted, In Carlsbad, Cavernous.

All these stories of links at the back to my new book.  They have a link for an email list.  Still, sluggish sales.

But wait...there's kindle countdown.  Okay...maybe a couple of books a day for the first four days.  Better than nothing...right?

I am disappointed, to say the least.  But, now I read that price is the key.  To heck with the debate over what the big publishers want to charge, what about a price that sells books?  I've read article after article on price and value and, and, and...when all I want to know is -- what price sells books?

My blessed fans swore that if I wrote a novel, it would sell!  But, of course, they are my fans.  Now I need a new strategy.

So, this is my next experiment.  99 cents for two weeks, 1.99 for two weeks, 2.99 for two weeks, 3.99 permanently.

I decided run each of my strategies to the end and record how many books seem to sell as a result.  There must be a way.  This is a good story -- a page turner -- an interesting read.  A good airplane book, but where are my passengers?

Stay tuned....

P.S.  The Print copy is yet another story.  (I started my bookstore visits yesterday. Crystal healing charms, anyone?  That's all I got on the first trip.)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Mysterious Coyote: FREE CHAPTER

In Gallup, Greed -- The Coyote Chapter

A coyote drifted by the front window, cautious, gray-gold, sniffing the dirt.  The college campus surrounding Burro’s apartment lay quiet in the late morning. A gray cloud drifted by in the distance, foreshadowing the monsoon.   Burro watched, and the cautious animal raised his eyes towards the cloud, and then turned towards Burro, as if to communicate the coming torrent.  A coyote vision, Burro thought, based on intuition, evidence, and the inner workings of coyote genes.
He identified.  Burro knew his own visions were part a creation of his genetically corrupted mind, his intuition, and real world evidence. As soon as Alice’s voice came over the phone this morning, Burro had felt a new hallucination wash over him.
“Hey, Burro. Mirage – you know – the woman Momma roomed with in Gallup?  She thinks she killed her brother, Lonnie.”
He saw the money first, sprouting like weeds from a kitchen floor. 
“They all started this gallery together:  Mirage, Lonnie, and some friends.  Lonnie gave a party – he did that all the time – with pizza and beer, that sort of thing.  Mirage drank too much, blacked out, and apparently passed out in an alley outside Lonnie’s place.  When she went back in the house, she found Lonnie dead.”
An open concept kitchen appeared, and the money sprouts grew more quickly, shedding large bills onto the carpet, the sofa, and the countertops.  The room oozed money and shame.  That’s how the vision felt – like money and shame.  Burro steadied himself on his clean kitchen counter, as Mirage continued to explain the crime.
“Lonnie was in bed, Mirage says, stab wounds to his stomach.  The police don’t suspect her or anything like that.  There’s no weapon.  All the gallery people were at the party, some others dropped by, so there’s no reason to think Mirage killed her brother.  It’s just the blackout, I guess.  It scares her that she might know something and not remember it.”
Brains oozed up out of the center of a large iron frying pan and began to scramble on the stovetop.  Burro sensed confusion, damage, a lack of understanding, missing pieces of information – it was hard to express what he felt when he saw the brains oozing and frying in the money filled kitchen and dining area.  The floors started to tilt.
“I sense confusion,” Burro spoke tightly into the phone.
“You have a vision?”
“It’s forming now.”
“Okay.  That’s good, I think.  Mirage wants to hire you and Cinnamon as  private investigators to find out if she killed Lonnie.  Or who killed Lonnie.  Like that.”
“There’s money involved,” Burro edged out the words.
“Yeah.  The artists ran a pretty successful gallery.”
Burro held the edge of the counter and, using his foot as a hook, pulled one of the metal chairs over to him and sat down.
“I’ll call Cinnamon.”
“We need to go today, Burro. You two were planning to go to Gallup anyway for another job, and Mirage was Momma’s friend.  So it’s a good way to get to know her and find out what she knows about Momma.”
“Today,” Burro repeated faintly.
“Call me and let me know, okay?”  
“I will.”
Burro placed his smart phone carefully on the counter.  Money poured through the windows of the vision, busting out glass, invading every space, beneath the sofa, under the coffee table -- pushing open cabinet doors, covering every surface.  And, still, the brains oozed and fried, overflowing the edge of the pan, as if the money fed the confusion, fed the loss of order and sanity.
Burro breathed, practiced bringing up pleasant memories.  He thought of his childhood, reflecting back on the adobe house on the east side of Santa Fe where he grew up.  He tried to visualize his mother, peeling green chile at a white porcelain sink.  His mother was brown-eyed and slim. Both his parents were brown-eyed, actually, and Burro’s light hair and blue eyes were said to be the legacy of ancient blond ancestors from Europe.
Thinking of his mother at the sink, and his grandfather’s stories of bold blond ancestors, Burro’s breath returned to normal, his blood pressure lowered, and the brains and money slowed, transformed into a still life drawing.  Burro picked up the phone to call Cinnamon.  As it rang, he noticed the coyote, spooked by a sound, slip quickly into a row of juniper trees, gone in a second, a mirage of orange dust and gray clouds, like a trick of the mind.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

FREE and Zymotic

Zymotic means fermenting -- and that's what happens when Tran is found dead on his Zuni, New Mexico front porch.  Cinnamon and Burro explore the small Native American village for clues on what happened to the teacher.  Cinnamon finds out shocking information about her mother in a mystical Zuni Catholic church full of Kachinas whose walls are filled with Kachinas that should never have been painted there.

Download #2 in this mystery thriller series.  Find out who killed Tran FREE July 2-3.  In Zuni, Zymotic

Saturday, June 28, 2014

FREELY Disturbed in Dulce

To celebrate the digital release of the 6th installment of the mystery thriller series,  In Gallup, Greed, the first story in the series In Dulce, Disturbed will be FREE June 28-29.

The Cinnamon/Burro adventure begins here...

Beaten to death by his teacher, a young native boy is found by the side of the road in Dulce, New Mexico. Cinnamon,a woman sleuth, joins her pal Burro to face down the school and the teachers and solve the first crime story in this top mystery series. Cinnamon collects the first clues to the lost Momma, who abandoned her in childhood. Defined by this loss, Cinnamon pursues these New Mexico mystery thrillers with one eye on the crime and one eye on finding Momma. Burro assists with visions that contain clues to the crime, if only the two of them can figure out what they mean. Full of quirky characters, this story keeps you in your seat. 

The first five in the series are short stories.  The 6th, In Gallup, Greed, is NOVEL LENGTH.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Read it in Digital or -- soon -- in Paper

...and feel the soft rustle of old-fashioned paper... #6 in the New Mexico mystery thriller series In Gallup, Greed

This is the new cover...not so much blood.  I'm finishing up the formatting for the paper copy, and I'll announce that release very soon.

Thanks to one and all for your support, friendship and general good wishes for my New Mexico mystery thriller series.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Formatting Blues- Create Space/Kindle

Using the Create Space word template to format in Gallup, Greed -- my New Mexico mystery thriller ... not to hard to do, but boring.  I have to correct the paragraph formatting with each cut and paste.  For some reason, even though it's set for 0 pts after sentences, it's still adding a space after each paragraph and changing the setting when I paste into the format from Create Space.  So I'm highlighting the whole chapter and resetting the paragraph.

No doubt there's an easier way, but I didn't find it.  THEN, the little symbol I included at the top of each paragraph appeared justified to the right margin.  So, I had to go back and add a return paragraph BEFORE the symbol.

There are easy things to do, but I wanted to write because I like revising fiction -- not to format.  But, as my own publisher, this is my lot.

Using the Kindle software, I have to eliminate every single tabbed paragraph.  I like to tab paragraphs, an ancient habit from learning to type on an actual typewriter (!?).   This is causing me to die of even more boredom -- especially removing tabs for over 300 pages.  YIKES.

So, formatting blues.  But happy to be able to publish.  Below is the New Cover -- really an old cover I hope will work better for #6 in this New Mexico mystery thriller series.