In Which A Scottish Mastermind Exposes Her Fiendish Plan for Worldwide Ebook Domination

Thriller writer J.A. Konrath has been on a roll in recent months with his exceptional success in the ebook-selling business. I only stumbled across his blog last week, but in reading his comments, I realized instinctively what he later said in this post. What he's learned, and what my penny-pinching Scottish-influenced upbringing taught me years ago, is that there are lots of people who will take a low price on an unknown product simply because it's low. Take the ebook phenomenon, for example.

They don't care so much that they don't know who the author is at first; if you're only charging them a dollar or two for a full novel, and you've got a strong blurb and nice cover art, some of them will try it. If you've written a story that they can really get into, they'll buy another book of yours, even if it's more expensive.

The way to a reader's heart is through his or her wallet. But only if you use a small hole.

To this end, the fantasy trilogy I'm working on, with the working title of The Truthfinder Series, will very likely start making its appearance online for exclusive ebook purchase starting late this year. And it'll be cheap. Anyone who looks at the difference between costs associated with print books vs. ebooks will see that pixels are basically free, as far as the production side goes. The people who are freaked out by this are those who are already paying lots of money to make or buy paper books. You've heard about how traditional publishing companies want to set the price of the ebooks they're distributing? They're keeping the prices competitive with their print copies, because they're afraid they'll lose customers from the print side, and that they'll flock to the e-side. Which would probably happen to some degree, even though there will always be those who adore the feel of a paper book, the smell of ink, and the physical sensation of turning pages. Or, as in my case, those who get headaches from too much screen time. Alas, it's true: I'm doomed to be a treekiller.

Those of us who write the books, well, we have all sorts of opinions about the two media. Mine is simply to get my stories out to those who enjoy reading in my genres. I have no illusions about getting rich doing this. I don't want to charge people a lot of money and have that put them off buying. None of us are happy that way. But if I lower my price way down into the bucket and offer my product in various worldwide e-markets, such as Kindle, the Sony Digital Reader, Kobo, Apple and Barnes and Noble, there will eventually be people who take a chance on it, even if they have no idea who I am.

And there's nothing you can do to stop me. My plan has already been put into motion, with works available at Smashwords (in process of uploading to Sony, Apple, BandN, and Kobo) and Kindle, and more on the way.

Mwa ha ha haaaa.


Kindling an Interest in a Broader Audience

I'm trying an additional outlet for my writing, as of today. I've uploaded my first e-book exclusive to Amazon's Kindle store. Now, it probably won't stay just at Kindle. Other e-book markets are on the horizon. But I already had an Amazon account, and, well, baby steps, right?

I still prefer to read hard copy books because it's easier on my eyes (annoying screen contrast can cause headaches), but Amazon's Kindle for PC does have a couple great points in its favor: downloading it is free, and there is a lot of interesting content on Kindle that I'd not find in a traditional bookstore.

Honestly, I didn't even know about Kindle for PC until I bought this new laptop, and it just automatically asked me if I wanted to download it. Talk about customer service. I thought about it for a couple days, then went ahead with the download and poked around the program a little. I had zero ebooks to put in it, but I've remedied that already.

As far as whether I'll ever buy an actual Kindle reader, I can't say. I mean, I don't even own a cell phone. Carrying around electronic devices is still foreign territory. Unless it's a GPSr, helping me home in on a geocache in the woods or a massive strip mall parking lot.

But for those of you who are like me, and not really into expensive, easily losable/breakable electronics (some lives are more chaotic than others!), you can still get all these amazing books and stories on your home computer. I'm all ecstatic that Amazon's doing this; it's a great way to encourage good will and reach a larger audience for their products.

Like mine. Or yours.

So: first story up is a novelette, just shy of 15K words, titled The Map Dance. A historical fantasy full of magic realism and poetry, it's a puzzle just waiting to be solved.

It's selling for $0.99 because it's quite a bit longer than my short stories, which I'd either put up for free or bundle for this same price. I've another novelette to add here in a bit, and then we'll see what else I want to put up.

This is fun!