Paperback Writer

The paperback version of my new novel Fugue in C Minor is finally available for sale! Click on this hyperlink to see it at It’s also at


Indie Authors Need Reviews is a great place to advertise your ebook, if your book has a lot of reviews. Just learned that yesterday. So now the strategy is to get reviews. Anyone who purchases my book  Fugue in C Minor (it is available on Kindle at, please post a review there and at It really helps indie authors when readers post reviews.

There are lots of places to market a free ebook, but then the author doesn’t get paid.


Places to Market eBooks

I picked up a couple of things from Writer’s Cafe’ at Kindle Boards. A lot of people talk about free promotions, where you list your ebook as free of charge for up to five days on Kindle, and as large numbers of people download it, its “fame” picks up, and the author tends to get a certain number of incidental sales after the free promotion. I was seeing figures something this: for every 5,000 copies given away, the author tended to get maybe 500-700 sales. It seemed to work for a lot of people, but a better way appears to be using sites like Bookbub to promote a discounted book, and build some real excitement and readership that way. An idea one writer mentioned was to buy the ad from Bookbub when you have two or more books on Kindle, so that your other titles get residual sales from people buying your new title. They’re there anyway, so some buy your other books. Brilliant.

One thing the Writer’s Cafe’ authors talk about at length is getting reviews. So when you read a book by an indie author, please provide them with a review on, and/or other places where people buy indie books.

And thanks!

Help for Self-Published Authors

Joined the Kindle Boards today so I can talk with other writers in the Writer’s Cafe’. It’s good to see who is making money, who is just starting out, and who is mentoring others.

Creative Guilds

I would love to hear from people who think of themselves as creative (producing some kind of artistic product), and learn whether they belong to a guild or union or something like it.

It seems to me that Indie creative people can lend each other a hand by sharing each other’s works on their blogs and other websites. Most of the guilds I have seen are for people who are well established in their creative field. But would it help for lesser-known creative types to band together?

Let me know what you think.

And remember, WordPress doesn’t make it easy anymore to see a blogger’s reply to your comment on their post. You have to go looking for it, like in “Comments I’ve Made” on the main dashboard page.

The Golden Age of Not My Problem

You apply for a job. You get an automated email saying thanks for your interest, we’ll contact you on the maybe, but probably not side. Have a great day. That was a computer program thumbing its teeth at you. No human eyes ever see your resume’. No one ever tells you they hired the boss’s nephew who isn’t at all qualified, but that’s on a need to know basis. And you don’t.

Your bank has an important message about your account. So a computer calls you and tells you something is messed up, please call them back. You call them back and a computer phone tree answers and requires you to select from four options, three different times. You hit the right button eventually and the computer tells you everything is fixed. Maybe it was never messed up in the first place. You’ll never know, because it takes 20 minutes of fighting with 800 numbers and phone trees and hold times before a human being finally picks up and tells you that you called the wrong department. Your phone battery is dying and CSI:Reykjavik  is on in ten minutes anyway.

You get your policy information from your insurance agent and it says your home is insured for about $30,000 more than it’s ever been worth. Which means you’re paying a higher premium than you need to, because they’ll never give you what it’s insured for. You call the company and a nice man eventually picks up because you waited 21 minutes through 18 automated messages insisting your call is very important to them. The nice man tells you your agent will have to fix that. You call your agent and his voice mail system directs you to the phone tree for the company, where you wait 21 more minutes for another nice man to tell you that your agent will have to fix that for you. You call your agent again and again and he never answers. Three days later he calls you back and tries to tell you that it costs more to replace your house than the market value. You tell him in the nicest possible way that he is full of shit, and that he needs to fix your policy. He says he will get back to you in a few days, but you know he is more likely to roll over after he hangs up and tell his girlfriend what a jerk you are.

I don’t believe in a Golden Age of Anything. I don’t think there’s ever been a time when everything worked right, or when everyone was nice to each other, or when all people were rewarded for every nice thing they did.

But this?

We are living in the Age of You’re Not My Problem.

So have a nice day!

Marketing a Self-Published Novel: Part 4 of 5

I belong to a writers group in LinkedIn, and recently someone there brought up E.L. James, author of Fifty Shades of Grey, who is often said to have self-published the book first, and then got it picked up by a publisher. But that’s not what happened. Her blog FAQ says she was writing fan fiction for Twilight, and that a publisher in Australia set her up for ebook and print-on-demand publishing with Fifty Shades. Someone did the marketing for her, although she already had a great network, with a screenwriter husband and a father who was a BBC cameraman, not to mention her previous career as a TV exec. Here is her blog. What she did was get the word out about her stories to everyone she knew. And she apparently knew a lot of people, including folks who could help her move her writing career forward.

Alan Sepinwall writes a blog about television called What’s Alan Watching? The NPR article I mentioned the other day talks about how he self published a book and a successful book reviewer just happened to be a follower of his blog. She wrote a review of his new book and it ran in the NY Times. This was a bit of luck, but he had worked hard to develop a large network through blogging about something people are interested in.

This is a confusing article from Publisher’s Weekly about Kindle sales, which says that 15 of Kindle’s Top 100 ebooks had “self-publishing” origins. But it has James at the top, even though she has already said her books were not, in fact, self-published. The article also says these 15 titles were almost all romance novels. I’m going to try to contact some of those authors and see how they got the word out.

Here’s an article about books self-published in 2011 that made the NY Times Best Seller List. These are not all romances. So there’s hope! Question is, how did they sell copies of their books? I’ll need to look them up and see what I can find.