Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Bad Thoughts by Dave Zeltserman

Over 2,500 eBooks sold

Available from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Barnes & Noble

From acclaimed author Dave Zeltserman comes a dark, captivating thriller unlike any you’ve ever seen, a killer unlike any you’ve ever imagined, and an ending unlike any you’ve ever dreamed of.

One afternoon 13 year-old Billy Shannon comes home to a living nightmare. His mother being brutally murdered is only the beginning…

20 years later, Bill Shannon is now a cop in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As the twenty-year anniversary of his mother’s death is approaching, women are being murdered in the same horrific grisly fashion. And while this is going on, he’s having blackouts which only seem to be getting worse…

Everything seems to be pointing to one of two possibilities: Shannon has gone insane or his mom’s killer is back to his old tricks. Except if it’s mom’s killer, he’s come back a long way to do these new killings… all the way from the grave.

Bad Thoughts is approximately 75,000 words long.

Praise for Bad Thoughts:

"A compellingly clever wheels-within-wheels thriller. An ingenious plot, skillfully executed" Elliott Swanson, Booklist

"This fast-paced, gritty psychological tale balances the fine line between mystery and horror" Library Journal

“Bad Thoughts is an ambitious genre-bender combining the paranoia and existential dread of the best noir with a liberal dash of The Twilight Zone. Not to be missed.” Poisoned Pen's Booknews

"Dark, brutal, captivating -- this is one hell of a book, the kind of book that doesn't let go of you once you start it. Dave Zeltserman is clearly the real deal." Steve Hamilton

About the author:
David Zeltserman has over the years worked developing data communication software at some of the world's leading networking and computer companies, including Motorola, DEC, Nokia, Lucent and Cisco. He lives in the Boston area with his wife Judy, is a die-hard Patriots and Red Sox fan and when he’s not writing crime fiction, he spends his time working on his black belt in Kung Fu.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

The Truth About Dating by Julie Christensen

9,366 eBooks sold over January and February 2011

Available from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Barnes & Noble

Lifelong introvert Quinn Malone was sick of spending her evenings at home, doing crossword puzzles and watching Jersey Shore. Successful, smart, and funny, 38-year old Quinn embarks on a quest to find a man, using blind dates, speed, and internet dating to get things moving.

Quinn overcomes her shyness to suffer through dates that are so bad, they’re funny (see the chapter on hunchbacks). With the help of good friends, she successfully transitions through the seven stages of dating: excitement (I’ve still got it!); infatuation (he makes me feel beautiful); disappointment (he looks nothing like his online photo); anger (why is he online if he’s married?); fatigue (I can’t bear the thought of another date); depression (I’m going to grow old and die alone); and acceptance (dating: it is what it is). Through the triumphs and heartbreaks of dating, and of life in general, Quinn uncovers the resilient, dynamic person she’s always been. The question is, has Mr. Right been waiting in the wings all along?

About the author:
Julie Christensen is the author of Searching for Meredith Love and The Truth About Dating. A native New Yorker, she studied painting at Pratt Institute and worked briefly in advertising on Fifth Avenue before she realized that her "creative" job was sucking the life out of her soul. Julie worked as a live-in Au Pair in Brooklyn, taught preschool, and lived in Barcelona and New Mexico before finally going back to school to get her Masters in Audiology. She wrote Searching For Meredith Love while living in New Mexico. After graduation, Julie did her fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota before moving to Omaha to work at a center for pediatric audiology. It was in Omaha that she discovered how hard dating is when you are an old thirty-something. She began writing about her horrible dates to amuse her single friends and make her married friends appreciate their husbands. The Truth About Dating is based on these experiences. Julie was introduced to her future husband by an acquaintance who, after reading a draft of The Truth About Dating, realized that she knew the perfect man for Julie. One blind date led to marriage less than a year later. They now have two children, ages 2 and 3. Julie continues to paint (juliechristensen.net) and write (julielivingthedream.blogspot.com). She is currently at work on her third novel, a mystery set in Brooklyn.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Not What She Seems by Victorine Lieske

Over 60,000 eBooks sold since April 2010

Available for 99 cents from Amazon.com and Smashwords and 70p from Amazon.co.uk

Steven Ashton, a billionaire from New York, and Emily Grant, on the run from the law... and when they meet he can’t help falling for her. What he doesn’t know is that interfering in her life will put his own life in danger.

Not What She Seems holds you in suspense from the moment you begin down the path of murder and romance.

Synopsis:When billionaire Steven Ashton couldn’t stand his high society social life anymore, he left the stress of New York on a vacation for his soul. The need to meet real down to earth people lead him to a small Nebraska town he remembered visiting as a child. He didn’t want to lie about who he was, but he couldn’t exactly tell them the truth.

Emily could have easily fallen in love with Steven, under different circumstances, but her past was catching up with her and she needed a new life. If the authorities found out about her, she could lose the one thing that meant everything, her four year old son.

Not What She Seems is approximately 67,000 words long.

This book is a "sweet" romantic suspense, appropriate for all ages.

About the author:
Victorine and her husband live in Nebraska where they manufacture rubber stamps for the craft industry. They own and operate Victorine Originals Rubber Stamps from their home, where they raise their four children. Victorine has a degree in Art from BYU Idaho, and designs many of the rubber stamps they sell. She has always loved to read, and in her spare time she writes.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Four Years From Home by Larry Enright

Over 12,000 eBooks sold since October 2010

Available from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and B&N

Good book! Very funny and definitely kept me reading to find out what happened. I was very surprised by the ending, I didnt have it anywhere near figured out! Great first novel, I will be waiting for more from him. — Joy Unger, Librarything.com

Tom Ryan — firstborn of five children in an Irish Catholic family, smart and acerbic, a cheat and a bully — calls himself the future king of the Ryans. There are other opinions. His mother calls him a holy terror. Mrs. Ioli calls the police on him. His father says that had Trouble been a saint, that would have been Tom’s middle name. But his parents, neighbors, peers, and siblings all must bow down before him or suffer the consequences. Just ask the Christmas turkey leftovers he buried in the side yard.

Harry, the youngest Ryan, was the shining star of the family. Bright, sensitive, and caring, he was protected by parental radar, called by God and Grandma Ryan to the priesthood, and was in Tom’s eyes, a brown-nosing little punk who had become a threat to his kingdom and the primary target of his search and destroy missions.

Then Harry changed. He abandoned his vocation and quit the church, and when he left for college, he left for good. He never called. He rarely wrote. His picture disappeared from the mantle. It was as if he had ceased to exist and his shining star had been but a passing comet. The enemy had retreated and Tom’s war was over.

“Four Years from Home” begins on Christmas 1972 during Harry’s senior year at college. The Ryan family has gathered without Harry for another bittersweet holiday celebration. When an unexpected and unwelcome gift arrives, the family demands answers and Tom Ryan, bully cum laude, must make a reluctant journey of discovery and self-discovery into a mystery that can only end in tragedy.

Written by the son of Irish Catholic immigrants, “Four Years from Home” redefines brotherly love in the darkly humorous and often poignant actions of its principal skeptic, Tom Ryan.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

And the point of this blog is....

In a recent interview as part of an excellent series on e-publishing, Spinetingler Mag asked me the goals of this blog. I replied, "Very simple: to showcase ebooks that sell and bring them to the attention of a wider audience. I love the indie spirit and as an agent I know there are an awful lot of excellent novels that are never going to find a home in traditional publishing these days."
So receiving the following message recently on a Kindle forum was extremely pleasing. I've asked permission to post it here.
Allan, following a link on your profile I have downloaded and am reading Crack-Up by Eric Christopherson.

This is fantastic and I cannot believe I am reading a book of such quality for a few pence. It is going to be up there with one of the best books I have ever read over a great number of years. It's great of you to promote the author. It always amazes me that a book of this quality is not sold or distributed in the normal way via bookshops and writing material of this quality deserves to be showcased.

Thanks, sir!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Observations from the e-front

Some early thoughts on selling ebooks:

1: it's an impulse-driven market, particularly in the UK
2: price is paramount (see above: $2.99 works in the US but not in the UK)
3: readers don't care one iota about an author's sales track
4: Amazon doesn't care one iota about an author's sales track
5: to sell ebooks, it helps to go where readers of ebooks hang out
6: an Amazon customer review is priceless
7: Amazon know how to sell books
8: the more you sell, the more you sell
9: promotion is much more efficient and enjoyable when you have access to your sales figures
10: the US and the UK are completely different markets and it's extremely rare to do well in both

Feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Remix by Lexi Revellian

Over 13,000 eBooks sold since August 2010

49p on Kindle, 99c on Nook and Smashwords

Caz Tallis restores rocking horses in her London workshop. When shabby but charismatic Joe and his dog turn up on her roof terrace, she is reluctantly drawn into investigating a rock star’s murder from three years before – an unsolved case the police have closed. Somebody is prepared to kill to prevent it being reopened – and is Caz's judgment clouding as she falls in love?

REMIX is a feel-good page turner, that you won't want to put down until you reach the satisfying ending.

About the author:
Lexi Revellian is a London jeweller/silversmith with a passion for writing. She enjoys novels that compel you to keep reading, with believable characters and a satisfying ending. That's the sort of book she tries to write.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Cyberdrome by Joseph Rhea

2,350 eBooks sold in 2010

Available on Kindle and many other formats
Winner of the 2008 PODBRAM Award for Best Science Fiction of the year!
When the human race is threatened by a deadly plague, our salvation might be found in a group of computer-generated virtual worlds, each populated by digital "people" and allowed to evolve in ways divergent from our own. These beings have no idea that they are only programs, living simulated lives and secretly monitored for new technology that could save us all. This is Cyberdrome.

When rogue programmer Alek Grey is called in after one of his programs inadvertently attacks Cyberdrome, he is shocked to learn that his ex-fiancée has become trapped in the system, unable to be removed from interface without risk of brain death. Alek knows of only one way to rescue the woman he still loves, but will he risk all of humanity to save her?
About the author:
Joseph Rhea is a research scientist whose preoccupations include writing and game design. Although a "hobby" writer all of his life, his first work of major fiction is the science fiction techno-thriller, Cyberdrome, winner of the 2008 PODBRAM Award for Best Science Fiction of the Year. Cyberdrome was co-developed and illustrated by David Rhea, a mechanical special effects artist whose preoccupations include drawing and 3D computer modeling.

Please visit the Cyberdrome website for previews, reviews and much more.

Monday, 24 January 2011

The Gift of Fury by Richard Jackson

3,000 eBooks sold since November 2010

$0.99 on KindleNook or from Smashwords

Enter the world of Count Albritton. It is a world where magic and the supernatural are very real. Creatures of legend, sorcerers and other powers walk among us. As a paranormal investigator, Count helps people with supernatural problems the authorities are either unwilling or unable to deal with. It's dangerous work. Luckily he has Kara, a beautiful guardian angel to help him.

Over the years, magic has grown weaker as mankind has made more and more technological advances. Many things that were possible in the past are no longer possible or easier to accomplish using technology. One man seeks to change all of that. He plans to bring back the golden age of magic. To do so, means sacrificing the technology that mankind depends upon and unleashing horrors best left forgotten.

Count isn't about to let that happen. Even with the help of his friends, it’s a fight he isn’t sure he can win.

Author bio:
Richard Jackson was born in New York and raised in the Bronx. He has been writing off and on since high school. Over the years, he has held a variety of jobs and worked in a wide range of fields. It’s given him a very diverse skill set which has come in handy on numerous occasions. His interests include the martial arts, costuming, travel, gaming and just having fun. He enjoys meeting people and talking to people with similar interests. His blog can be found at Kyrin's Insight.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

eInfo: Stephen Leather

Some great info from the author who sold 44, 334 Kindle books in December. The vast majority of these sales come from three 74p books. He has two other novels on Kindle. "Bangkok Bob and the Missing Mormon, which sold 302 copies, and Private Dancer, which sold 205 copies. Why are they so far behind the other three? Because I am selling them at full price."

Price is a huge factor, no question. Still, when you look at Bookscan figures (print sales) for most authors outside the bestsellers, selling over 500 copies of full-price novels in a month isn't to be sneezed at. And of course Stephen Leather's getting 70% royalties on each sale. In terms of money in an author's pocket, that's roughly the equivalent of selling 50,000 mass market paperbacks. And I'm betting Leather will hit similar sales figures (if not better) next month, and the month after, and the month after.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Rogue Hunter: Quest of the Hunter by Kevis Hendrickson

1,500 eBooks sold

Available on Kindle, Nook and at Smashwords

Winner of the Red Adept Indie Award (2010): 'TOP SCIENCE FICTION'.

Zyra Zanr is the most feared bounty hunter in the galaxy. Criminals everywhere cower at her name. During the attempt to capture a notorious fugitive, she stumbles onto a conspiracy to murder the senators of the InterGalactic Alliance. Behind this plot is a clandestine force seeking to destroy not only the InterGalactic Alliance, but mankind as well.

War looms on the horizon as Zyra collides with this deadly force threatening to rock the very foundations of time and space. Zyra’s quest to uncover the mastermind behind this plot will pit her against an evil menace beyond her wildest imagination. Only Zyra can save humanity from an impending holocaust. Victory will mean the salvation of the human race. Failure will mean the end of all that Zyra holds dear. The battle for the future has begun!

Join Zyra Zanr in her 115,000 word (327 page) sci-fi epic and enter the world of the Rogue Hunter!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Swallow by Tonya Plank

Over 3,600 eBooks sold from Dec '09 to Jan '11

Currently $0.99 on Kindle and Nook

Sophie Hegel is a shy New York lawyer who hails from small-town Florence Arizona, known not for the Renaissance but for housing a large prison. She's just graduated from Yale Law School and landed her first job when, one evening, during dinner with her fiancé, she feels a fist-like ball form at the base of her throat. A form of the psychological condition Globus Sensate, this "fist-ball" wreaks havoc on her life, causing her difficulty eating, speaking, and eventually even breathing. With a cast of characters that includes a pornographer father, a sister with a knack for getting knocked up by denizens of the town pen, a painter of male nudes, an eccentric Sing Sing-residing client, a tough-talking fashion maven and a bevy of privileged Manhattan lawyers and judges, Swallow is a dark comedy about the distance that can separate fathers and daughters, and about a young woman's struggle to survive in a world of pedigreed professionals for which she has no preparation.

WINNER OF GOLD MEDAL, 2010 Living Now Book Awards, Women's Fiction
WINNER OF GOLD MEDAL, 2010 Independent Publisher Book Awards, Best Regional Fiction
FINALIST, 2010 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards, General Fiction
FINALIST, 2010 National Indie Excellence Awards, Regional Fiction

"Plank has a knack for combining philosophical opinions, hard-luck family stories, discount shopping triumphs, and gently slapstick humor into a book that makes readers laugh, think, and swallow hard in sympathy." --ForeWord Reviews

"I swallowed it up, no pun intended... The novel is very chatty and engaging... A great beach read." --Gotham Gal

"...As engaging as any book I have read. Although it does seem to be a little long at first, the character development is so appealing that once you start reading you find yourself eagerly anticipating what will come next..." --Examiner.com

"This is not just regional, women's fiction - it transcends any genre... Ms. Plank's first novel is a brilliant show of even greater things to come. She is an author to watch and follow." --The Review Broads

Swallow, which I've just started reading, hooks you from the opening pages with its breathless urgency and captures what it's like to live in NY now, with money worries and ambition and myriad obligations breathing down your neck, and none of it written in cutesy chick-lit'ry. So give it a try. --Vanity Fair Online, James Wolcott, January 15, 2010

About the author:
Tonya Plank worked as a criminal appeals attorney in New York City. A former competitive ballroom dancer and a longtime balletomane, she writes the dance blog, Swan Lake Samba Girl. Swallow is her first novel.
Praise for Swan Lake Samba Girl:
"Tonya Plank [is] one of New York's most precious assets." James Wolcott, Vanity Fair blog.

"Tonya Plank is one of the blogosphere's freshest, liveliest, least predictable, and most pleasing voices. Long may she samba!" Terry Teachout, author, All in the Dances and Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong.

Monday, 17 January 2011

eNews: eBook Pricing

Fascinating piece: Pricing vs Revenue. "Publishers have a chance to get my money even though I have more paper books and ebooks than I can reasonably expect to read in this lifetime. They have one and only one way to blow this, when I come to look at the page and there is a price above my impulse-buy threshold for that item." More at the Evil Genius Chronicles. And a follow-up post, Chronicles of Lost eBook Sales.

And more on pricing in a recent press release from Darren Laws, the very tuned-in publisher of Caffeine Nights: "Pricing is an issue for eBooks with many publishers pricing themselves out of the market of enforcing restrictive DRM. With the cloud ready to play a bigger part in publishing in 2011, we were keen to issue a new mission statement. Turtle Island is the first of our under a dollar, under a pound range of titles and will be available in DRM free versions as well as DRM versions giving consumers the ultimate in choice and value."

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Crack-Up by Eric Christopherson

Just shy of 10,000 eBooks sold in the last year

Currently $0.99 on KindleNook and from Smashwords

Best Mystery Novel, Red Adept Annual Indie Awards 2010

Argus Ward is a former U.S. Secret Service agent who runs a protection agency catering to the rich and famous. His best-kept secret--which he shares with lawyers and doctors and even psychiatrists--is his status as a high-functioning paranoid schizophrenic. One day, with little warning, he turns psychotic for the first time in twenty years. He lands in a secure psychiatric facility, charged with the murder of his most famous client, high tech industry billionaire John Helms, the wealthiest man in America.

Argus has no memory of the killing. A blood test suggests to him that some unknown enemy had switched his anti-psychotic medication with identical-looking dummy pills to purposely drive him insane.

A sign of lingering paranoia? His doctor thinks so. Even his wife.

Yet Argus escapes incarceration to prove his theory. With the law on his trail and a ticking time bomb in his head--due to a lack of medication--he discovers that his disease had been "weaponized" by a powerful group to secretly assassinate John Helms as part of a multiple assassination conspiracy of world-wide significance.

Or has Argus simply lost his mind again? What in the end is "real" and what is only imagination in his story?

And what is justice for the criminally insane?

Come lose your grip on reality. Read CRACK-UP.

* * * * * * * *

This ebook also contains bonus excerpts:

Chapter 1 of THE PROPHET MOTIVE by Eric Christopherson

Chapter 1 of ORIGIN by J.A. Konrath

About the author
Eric Christopherson lives in semi-rural Ohio with his wife, Seiko, their first child on the way. He is a former police officer and former federal government consultant.

Friday, 14 January 2011

eNews: Nora Roberts Breaks A Million and other stories

"Amazon.com announced Jan. 12 that best-selling romance writer Nora Roberts had become the third author to sell more than 1 million copies in electronic editions for Amazon’s Kindle e-reader." More at Star New Online

While acknowledging that "EBook sales are now climbing with the feverish intensity of a mercury thermometer measuring a scorching heat wave," Phil Guarnieri observes that, "Print on tangible paper, embraced by tightly bound covers, invests words and ideas with a certain gravity and permanence." (I read the article on a computer, so I'm afraid Mr Guarnieri's words convey no gravitas whatsoever. Still, here's the link at the Floral Park Dispatch. But be warned: it's probably gone by now, due to the transient nature of digital content).

TechCrunch asks, "First Amazon Took Down Booksellers... Are Publishers Next?"

In Germany, reports of chainstore Thalia's Oyo Reader are encouraging: "Demand for e-books has also picked up during the holiday season: driven by huge interest in the Oyo ... digital book sales skyrocketed by 200% year on year." More from The Bookseller and even more on the German eBook market at Publishing Perspectives

And finally, congratulations to Scott Neumyer, who's just signed up with Anna Webman at the Curtis Brown Agency!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Jimmy Stone's Ghost Town by Scott Neumyer

Over 1,000 eBooks sold in five weeks from Dec 7th, 2010

$0.99 on Amazon, Nook, and Smashwords

On December 7th, Scott Neumyer released his thrilling, fun, and heartfelt middle grade novel, JIMMY STONE'S GHOST TOWN, on Amazon.com! Available for the special introductory price of only $0.99, JIMMY STONE'S GHOST TOWN can be downloaded on the Amazon Kindle (as well as Kindle for Mac, Kindle for PC, Kindle for iPhone, Kindle for iPad, Kindle for Android, and Kindle for Blackberry)! In a matter of less than a week, JIMMY STONE'S GHOST TOWN started climbing up the Amazon.com charts! It reached #2 in Children's Books for Boys & Men (ahead of Justin Bieber's new book) and was #1 on the Hot New Releases section of that same genre!

For less than a dollar, readers can enjoy this "fantastical mystery for young readers" that Lara Zielin (Author of DONUT DAYS and THE IMPLOSION OF MAGGIE WINCHESTER) has called "...irresistibly appealing!"

By Scott Neumyer

For Jimmy Stone, life in "Boredsylvania" has been pretty tough. His mom's died, his dad's completely checked out, and he spends his days running from the Coogan Boys, the local bullies. It isn't long, however, before "Boredsylvania" gets a lot more exciting. With his new friend, David and his dog, Trex, by his side, Jimmy discovers that the woods beyond his backyard hold the key to a world he could never even imagine. Soon, he ends up in Ghost Town, where he’s greeted by his ghost guide, Gasp, and receives an ominous prophecy.
“Seven things you must find.
One thing for each day.
Seven things you must find.
Or else they all will pay!

Suddenly Ghost Town becomes as scary as it sounds, and Jimmy Stone realizes that he's in way over his head.

To view a Teaser Trailer, readers can visit http://www.whoisjimmystone.com/.

About the Author
Scott Neumyer currently lives in New Jersey with his wife and daughter. He is a writer, publicist, and photographer who has over ten years experience in online PR & marketing. He also worked three years as a Media Buyer for a major national film distributor. Scott has appeared in Wanted Undead or Alive: Vampire Hunters and Other Kick-Ass Enemies of Evil (Citadel Press August 2010). He has also been published online and in print in presitigious magazines such as McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Pindeldyboz, and Hobart Pulp. Find him online at http://www.scottwrites.com/ and http://www.whoisjimmystone.com/. You can reach him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/scottneumyer and Facebook at www.facebook.com/scott.neumyer

Monday, 10 January 2011

The Grove by John Rector

5,000 eBooks Sold
from June '09 to Jan '10

(Amazon Encore edition published Nov 2010: sales unknown)

Currently $3.99 from Amazon

Book Description: In this gritty noir novel, John Rector weaves an intensely sinister tale. Dexter McCray is a farmer with a dark past that continues to haunt him. As a man struggling with alcoholism, he’s used to being looked at with pity and suspicion in his community. So, after waking from a blackout to discover the body of a teenage girl in the nearby cottonwood grove, he can't be entirely sure he's innocent. With no memory of the previous night, he sees no choice but to investigate the crime himself. Fortunately he’s not alone. He has some help…in the shape of the dead girl herself. In The Grove, readers are treated to more than a warped and imaginative mystery. With plot twists on every page, Rector breathes life into a story that pits reality against hallucination, truth against improbability. Is Dexter motivated by guilt or insanity, reason or folly? And how will the young victim provide the help he desperately needs? This is a novel about one man haunted by the reality of his failed life.
"Tough, dark, and beautifully told. Great storytelling." - David Peoples, screenwriter of Unforgiven, Twelve Monkeys, and Blade Runner

"Spare and evocative as a cornfield in autumn, The Grove marks the arrival of a haunting, powerful new voice in contemporary fiction. John Rector writes with deceptive grace, spinning out irresistible prose with a dark pulse between every line. This is psychological suspense at its most seductive. I loved it." - Sean Doolittle, award-winning author of Dirt, Burn, Rain Dogs, The Cleanup, and Safer.