Saturday, May 29, 2010

CHAPTER FIVE: And the things I worry about...

I was sitting in a coffee shop watching a mom count from 6 down to 1 and then back to counting as her 6 year old child did whatever he wanted. She was sitting with a councilor who was going to help her with her child yet the only help she needed was a good spanking. I am not talking about one for her son but for her.

The way6 she spoke to him and how it was all if you do this I will do this, or stop or I will count... oh no not the counting! No wonder our children can only count to 6, that is as high as their parents get.

And here I was worrying about if I was teaching my kids to respect and to be kind to others and to learn to obey so they will grow up and be good people. I never knew that all I had to do was count! I mean wow, what power...

Anyway... blah blah...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

CHAPTER FIVE: More E-book news from Donna Crow

E-Books Rewrite Bookselling
NEW YORK—In the massive new Barnes & Noble superstore on Manhattan's Upper East Side,
generous display space is devoted to baby blankets, Art Deco flight clocks, stationery and adult games like Risk and Stratego.
The eclectic merchandise, which has nothing to do with books, may be a glimpse into the future of Barnes & Noble Inc., the nation's largest book chain.
For 40 years, Barnes & Noble has dominated bookstore retailing. In the 1970s it revolutionized publishing by championing discount hardcover best sellers. In the 1990s, it helped pioneer book superstores with selections so vast that they put many independent bookstores out of business.
Today it boasts 1,362 stores, including 719 superstores with 18.8 million square feet of retail space—the equivalent of 13 Yankee Stadiums.
But the digital revolution sweeping the media world is rewriting the rules of the book industry, upending the established players which have dominated for decades. Electronic books are still in their infancy, comprising an estimated 3% to 5% of the market today. But they are fast accelerating the decline of physical books, forcing retailers, publishers, authors and agents to reinvent their business models or be painfully crippled.
"By the end of 2012, digital books will be 20% to 25% of unit sales, and that's on the conservative side," predicts Mike Shatzkin, chief executive of the Idea Logical Co., publishing consultants. "Add in another 25% of units sold online, and roughly half of all unit sales will be on the Internet."
Nowhere is the e-book tidal wave hitting harder than at bricks-and-mortar book retailers. The competitive advantage Barnes & Noble spent decades amassing—offering an enormous selection of more than 150,000 books under one roof—was already under pressure from online booksellers.
It evaporated with the recent advent of e-bookstores, where readers can access millions of titles for e-reader devices.
Even more problematic for brick-and-mortar retailers is the math if sales of physical books rapidly decrease: Because e-books don't require paper, printing presses, storage space or delivery trucks, they typically sell for less than half the price of a hardcover book. If physical book sales decline precipitously, chain retailers won't have enough revenue to support all their stores.
Some question whether book stores will go the way of music stores, which closed en masse once consumers could sample and download music digitally. Blockbuster Inc., the video rental giant, is struggling to reshape its business at a time when movies can be downloaded directly to digital devices.
Unlike music, the book industry didn't suffer dramatically from digital theft and, for years, couldn't figure out how to make money from e-books. There was no sense of urgency.
"It's fair to say that the leadership folks at the major trade publishers didn't believe until very recently that e-books had any economic life in them," says Arthur Klebanoff, chief executive of New York-based RosettaBooks LLC, an e-book publisher.
The success of Inc.'s Kindle e-reader recently changed all that, proving to publishers that the e-books market was real.
But it wasn't until the arrival of Apple Inc.'s iPad last month—with its promise of one day tapping more than 125 million iTunes customers—that the true potential of the e-book market became apparent.
"It's taking digital books to a new level," says John Makinson, CEO of Pearson PLC's Penguin Group.
Google Inc. will join the fray in late June or July when it is expected to begin selling its own e-books.
"The store model is under pressure, whichever way you look at it," acknowledges Leonard Riggio, Barnes & Noble's 69-year-old chairman and largest shareholder.
Over the next three to four years, Mr. Riggio says, a different, more diverse Barnes & Noble retail store will evolve, selling a variety of merchandise and serving as a showcase for digital products.
Mr. Riggio is suddenly under pressure to transform Barnes & Noble. Billionaire investor Ron Burkle, who has told associates that he believes the retailer's brand name has staying power, has recently increased his stake in the company to 19.6%.
In coming months, he's expected to wage a proxy battle aimed at influencing the retailer's direction.
Others are less optimistic about the future of brick-and-mortar retailers: "Their time is limited," Mr. Shatzkin says flatly. "I can't see how sales can do anything but continue to erode, and probably at an accelerated pace."
Borders Group Inc., the nation's second-largest book chain, saw same-store sales decline 14% at its superstores for the quarter ended Jan. 30. It laid off 884 people, more than 3% of its work force, last year, and now operates 175 Waldenbooks stores, down from 1,200 in 1992.
Once-thriving mall stores have largely vanished. Of the 797 B. Dalton Booksellers stores that Barnes & Noble acquired in 1987, only four remain. And the number of independent booksellers continues to fall.
Stores that are surviving are doing so by radically shifting gears. Indigo Books & Music Inc. Canada's largest bookseller, aims to transform into a "cultural department store" through the sale
of nonbook items. "The days of filling the shelves and just opening the doors are gone," says Heather Reisman, chief executive.
E-books have turned the economics of book retailing upside down.
When it launched the iPad last month, Apple championed a new approach to e-book pricing.
Earlier this year, most large publishers agreed to establish a so-called agency model, where the publisher receives 70% of the digital price while e-book sellers act as agents and receive 30%. While some best sellers remain at $9.99, many major authors are priced at $12.99 or $14.99.
For many digital booksellers, the new model is good news: Instead of having to pay publishers half, or $12.50, for the e-book edition of a $25 hardcover book, and then sell that book at a loss—for, say $9.99—to match Amazon's cutthroat prices, the bookseller now gets 30% of the newly-set $12.99 price, or $3.90. Since it hasn't paid anything for the title, it is ahead of the game.
But for Barnes & Noble, the model can't hide a brutal reality: $3.90 is a fraction of the $12.50 it now earns on a full-priced hardcover priced at $25. If e-book sales become a quarter to a third of the market, store revenue would plunge.
Faced with such a scenario, Barnes & Noble is re-examining its business model.
In March, in the most dramatic management change since it went public in 1993, the company named 39-year-old William Lynch, a newcomer with Silicon Valley roots, as chief executive.
Mr. Lynch replaced Mr. Riggio's younger brother, Steve, 55. After nearly 17 years of consistent growth, Barnes & Noble is stumbling. Revenue fell 3% to
$5.12 billion for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2009, while earnings dropped about 45% to $76 million.
The company is expected to report its second consecutive year of declining same-store sales when it reports results next month. Its stock, which closed at $18.58 a share Thursday, is less than half its peak four years ago.
Mr. Riggio isn't accustomed to such setbacks. Since he founded his first bookstore, the Student Book Exchange, in Greenwich Village in 1965, the native New Yorker has been at the vanguard of book retailing.
In 1971, he bought Barnes & Noble Inc., which consisted of a single store on New York's Fifth Avenue. Soon, Mr. Riggio helped champion discount best sellers, sparking the growth of hardcover books that today are the mainstay of the publishing business.
By the early 1990s, Mr. Riggio saw that superstores, with huge selections, represented the future of book-selling. Even though he'd earlier bought B. Dalton Booksellers, Mr. Riggio began cutting back on mall stores and opening new 100,000-plus title superstores. When the fledgling digital book business emerged in the mid-1990s, Barnes & Noble was one of the first to embrace it. In 1998, it made a small investment in NuvoMedia Inc., maker of a handheld device called the Rocket eBook reader. In what would prove to be the retailer's largest strategic blunder, Barnes & Noble abruptly pulled the plug on digital reading in 2003. E-book prices at the time—about $20 or more, compared to a $25 hardcover—turned off readers. And there weren't many titles to choose from.
"Was it us? Or was it that the market wasn't ready?" Mr. Riggio reflects. "It was probably a bit of both."
In hindsight, the move cost Barnes & Noble market share and momentum. "If they'd hung in there, they would have been able to build on their early mover advantage and
expose their millions of consumers to e-books through the use of their stores," Mr. Klebanoff says.
In November 2007, Amazon walked through the digital door that Barnes & Noble had left open, launching the Kindle. It would take Barnes & Noble two years to catch up and launch its own e-reader, the Nook. Today Amazon boasts 70% to 80% of the digital book business, analysts say, with the remainder divided between such rivals as Barnes & Noble, Sony Corp. and Kobo Inc.
Barnes & Noble wasn't just slow on the e-reader. Though it was clear the online book selling business was nibbling into book sales by 2005, the giant bookseller didn't dramatically redesign its website until October 2007. By then, Amazon had become the country's dominant online bookseller.
In mid-March, Barnes & Noble's board approved Mr. Riggio's choice for a new chief executive, naming Mr. Lynch, who had joined the company only 13 months earlier as president of Barnes&
Mr. Lynch, a veteran of the digital world, is seen as a change agent. A trim runner who favors open-necked shirts and dark suits, he joined Palm Inc., the pioneering hand-held device maker, in 2000, where he oversaw digital strategy and the website. In 2005, he joined Barry Diller's IAC/Interactive Corp., launching, followed by a tour at HSN Inc., the television home shopping network.
Mr. Lynch is already shaking things up, hiring a team of executives from e-commerce and technology companies in a new Palo Alto outpost. He is going as far as to describe Barnes & Noble as "as much a technology company as we are a retail company."
His strategy is to use the one asset Amazon and Google can't match: Barnes & Noble's 719 superstores. Customers can test the Nook and get free original in-store content, such as a short story set in Italy by Alexander McCall Smith. Other in-store perks include free Wi-Fi service and free cafe offers.
Mr. Lynch has negotiated a deal with Best Buy Co. to sell the Nook in more than 1,000 Best Buy stores. He says Barnes & Noble now has 1.2 million titles in its e-Bookstore and is now accessible on more than 400 different devices.
But Barnes & Noble faces deep-pocketed technology titans. Charlie Wolf, a senior analyst at Needham & Co., estimates that Apple will sell 5.5 million iPads in 2010, while Amazon will sell 3 million Kindles and Barnes & Noble will sell 1 million Nooks. The future of Barnes & Noble's bookstores may boil down to one question: Will people prefer digital books as much as they preferred digital music? If that is the case, physical stores may all but disappear.
"I wouldn't write off retail book stores," Mr. Riggio says. "People love holding books. They want their kids to go to bookstores. Their kids want their parents to take them to bookstores." Some in the industry say bookstores may serve an even more prominent role as a forum for authors and a showroom for readers seeking to discover what's new. "Bookstores are still the best places to go for divergent ideas," says James Patterson, the best-selling author. "With fewer newspapers providing reviews, where will people go to find out about new books? Barnes & Noble will do that and give you more assistance with e-books. They have a future."
Barnes & Noble doesn't have the luxury of time. Mr. Burkle, the investor whose stake is now near 20%, has been agitating for changes in how the company is governed.
Mr. Burkle, who declined to be interviewed, is mum about his strategy. He has indicated to others that Barnes & Noble's famous brand and mint real estate locations will benefit from Borders' ongoing struggles and survive the digital tsunami.
Mr. Riggio, who owns 31% of the retailer, declined to comment on Mr. Burkle's efforts. As for the Barnes & Noble's superstores of the future, Mr. Riggio says the retailer is experimenting with selling a variety of merchandise, including consumer electronics.
"I would say that there's nothing we wouldn't put under consideration," Mr. Riggio says, "although it's safe to say we won't have pots and pans."

Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A1

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

CHAPTER FIVE: Writing tips to keep the book moving by Ron Knight!

This is from a writing friend named Ron Knight. His advice is great and I thought I would pass it along.


If the reader has a sense that your book is moving along with a fast pace, that will intensify the story. It will also be harder for your readers to put the book down. If they read your book in a few days, then you just picked up another fan.

Here are 10 ways to increase the speed of your manuscript. Keep in mind that the words will be pretty much the same in your story. The only thing that you are changing is how those words are presented.

If readers were asked, “What would you rather have, a book that is entertaining yet a slow read, or a book that is entertaining and a fast read?”

I think the answer is obvious.

10 Manuscript Speed Tips

1. Short Chapters

This is the easiest fix. Instead of your chapters being 10 pages long, make them 5. Or even better, make them 2.5-3 pages.

Short chapters also gives the readers more stopping points. Most of all, the reader will have a sense of accomplishment, as they whip through chapter after chapter. For children and tween books, this is especially important.

Example of an author who uses short chapters is James Patterson.

2. Short Paragraphs

I developed this style a long time ago and editors keep telling me to change it. I won’t, and here is why. Short paragraphs bring out the intensity of my suspense story. I can imagine the reader’s eyes, wide open, moving from one line to the next.

Short paragraphs speeds up the overall tempo of the chapter. And since your chapter is short, it feels like the action never stops.

Example of an author who uses short paragraphs is Sandra Brown.

3. Dialogue

Characters having a conversation will result in the reader to finish a page in under 10 seconds, just as long as it is not one character doing all the talking. A quick exchange through dialogue to illustrate a scene or plot twist, can be more powerful than description. The reader will follow the characters exchange with great interest.

Try writing some of the conversations without finishing with John said, or she said. Whenever possible, move from one person talking to the next. If the reader knows who is speaking, then there’s no reason to add, Jane said.

This will also help get rid of “LY” words. (Jane said, softly.)

Of course, don’t over do the dialogue. Just the right amount can speed certain parts of your book.

Example of an author who uses dialogue to increase speed is Stuart Woods.

4. Description

The description of a scene can be slow and drawn out unless the author is only writing the important essentials. Do not over describe. If the pictures on the walls have nothing to do with the story, then do not talk about them. If the size of the room does not matter, do not bring it up. This goes for all characters and scenes.

Example of an author who writes like this is Stephen King. For an example of an author who uses description to increase speed in the manuscript similar to dialogue, check out Sue Grafton.

5. Page Break

Page breaks are common for scene endings, point of view changes, or to intensify the plot. Another great use for page breaks is speed. It works like this:

When the reader starts your book, they begin with ”A” and finish at “Z.” In the reader’s mind that can be a long way. When page breaks are added, then the reader goes from “A” to “B” to “C” to “D” and so on. In your audiences mind, more is being accomplished.

Example of an author who uses page breaks to increase speed is John Sandford.

6. Power Sentence

A well written power sentence will make the reader gasp. (In their mind of course. If the reader gasps out loud, then you really wrote a terrific line.) Power Sentences are used as the first and last line in your manuscript. They are also used just before a page break, at the end of a chapter, and at the beginning of the chapter.

The more power sentences you have, the more suspense, mystery, romance, or thrill’s you will have in your story. It will also keep the reader wanting more and anxious to turn the page, which of course, is how fast you want your audience reading the book.

Example of an author who uses power sentences is Ken Follett.

7. Section Break

This is when the author divides the book up into sections. The purpose is to end one main plot and begin another. And just like page breaks, it gives the reader a sense of accomplishment and a feeling that the book is “moving along.”

Three section breaks in a 375 page novel is common, which is every 125 pages. As for me, I like section breaks every 45 pages or 75 pages.

In your section break, you can do a variety of things. Some authors name each section or say something like, “Part II,” and “Part III.” Some authors will write a powerful bible verse, quote, or poem. It all depends on your genre and what type of mood you want the reader to be in before they begin the next section.

Examples of authors who uses section breaks are Dean Koontz, Shane Stevens, Michael Crichton, and of course, Stephen King.

8. Character Takeover

Nothing moves the story along faster than when the characters take over the writing and you are just the person typing the words. When characters become alive, then it is logical to think that life moves fast.

It would be impossible for me to explain ways to let your characters take over the story. (In one small paragraph.) I suppose the best way to know the difference is this: If you are trying to think of what to write next, then you are telling the story, not your characters.

Example of an author who lets the character tell the story is just about anyone who is published. David Baldacci and Joseph Finder are a couple authors you might want to check out.

9. Out Loud

This technique is used often. It is when the author has done all their drafts and the manuscript is ready. Now, it’s time to read it out loud. When you do this, you’ll discover places where you stutter. That sentence should be fixed.

If you stutter, so will the reader. That will slow a book down.

Example of an author reading out loud is Janet Evanovich.

Here is number 10, but actually, it is the most important.

10. Short-Burst Writing

Full-time authors treat their day like any other job. They write four to eight hours. Just remember, by the time your are writing for a living, you will have more techniques and the speed in which you write will be incredible.

My suggestion is to write in short-bursts. For example, write for an hour, then take a break and eat a snack. Write for an hour and then go for a walk or play Wii Fit. Write for an hour and have lunch. Write for an hour, then do a load of laundry. This gives your characters time to swirl in your head. Ideas will flow as your mind is briefly distracted.

Let’s say you work full-time and write at night. If you push yourself too long, the story will feel “pushed.” If you write in short-bursts, the story will have the sense of a rocket taking off every hour.

Example of an author writing in short-bursts, should be you.

Imagine that you have a great story, with terrific mechanics, and a flow that is speed…speed…speed.

That’s the kind of book that makes the bestsellers list.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


We all have rules and ways of looking at things. Some want to say and do think that their way is the only way and anyone who looks at anything different is wrong and below them.

Some like to take a open mind view and take it all in and not really say anything is any better then anything else. Very non committal... If you like it hot... fine, if you like it cold... great... no big deal.

Some take the middle ground and have a set way of looking at the world and a plan but if something comes along that proves to be truth and a better way to go they can change.

Which way is best?
What way do you look at the world?

Guess it is all how you look at it...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

CHAPTER FIVE: Publishing made easy...step by step

Okay, so if you are looking for a publisher here is some info you might want to consider.

First, what do you want? If you want to have some books for family and friends and have your dream in print by all means go self publishing or POD. Other names for the same thing are short run publisher, vanity press and so on. This said what you get is a book but all the steps are up to you. This means the editing, proofreading, cover art, and so on...

If you want to make this your future then do not do the above unless you have no other choice... and you do. Find a small press and sell them on your work, if it sucks get better, if it will hold water you will get published.

So tonight we will look at the step by step process of doing it yourself or through a POD printer. Again you will have a book and most bookstores will not talk to you but you don't care cuz you just want the darn thing in your hot little hands.

Here we go.

First step after you have the book written is to find a good editor. Believe me i did it the hard way and skipped this step and I am still paying the price... pay the fee and have it done. DO NOT GET A BUNCH OF FRIENDS DO IT!!! This will cost you 200-600 for a good one. More if you want a pro pro... This editor will look for plot story ect... for non-fiction you need this step for flow structure and so on...

As this is going on you need to get a killer cover done. By this I mean this cover has to be good enough for someone who does not know you to want to pick up your book. little details are a review on the cover, a tag line or some little detail lake that. With that you need to know the size of your final cut book and the bleed so it can be set for the printer. The more you do the less it will cost you at the print shop. They will do it for you but for a fee. Also you need to know the exact finish page count so you can set the width of your spine... if this is off you will have a book with the spine wording off to one side and it will look like a self pub book. Just because it is doesn't mean we want it to look like it.

after cover is done you have time to get a ISBN number and a Barcode. you need this if you want to sell your book in a store. If you don't ever want to sell it outside of your family then forgo this step. But remember no Amazon, no online sales other then direct. you can get all this fro about 150 bucks at If you get this from your POD publisher or but one from them with your name as the publisher on it the thing is still registered under them, you want this to be in your name... or if you don't care don't worry about it. This number will be your special number for your book alone.

After you get the first edit back go through the book again and make sure everything is right. Now you can give it out to friends to proofread and get all the typos. After you have thing done do it again... better to have it done now. This should be free...

Your printer will layout your book but again for a price. If you do it or hire someone online to do it for you then you will have the final say in how it looks and save some money. How big do you want the margins and do you want your name and the book name at the top? Where do you want the page numbers? Here is what I recommend...

Top of page left hand side, author name all caps.
top of page right hand side, Book title title case.
Bottom of page center, page numbers.
Margins 1" all the way around.
11 pt on body text, if it is to big it reads and feels like a self pub.
Chapter starts all need to start on the right hand side of the page and need to start halfway down.
Chapter start titles should be like 16pt-20pt bold in a cool font.
First line of each chapter you can use a drop cap or make the first 4 words in all caps.
Use off white paper or a natural paper, stark white is hard on the eyes and makes the reader tired.

The book after it is all laid out and you have your page count have your cover art guy adjust the spine to make it dead on.
Again you can find people online and if you want one I have a good contact that can do all this for you for like 75 bucks. The print shop will take you for 150 or more. The final layout book will be a PDF and you will have this to keep for a 2nd print run, this way you can shop printers for a good deal if you end up hating the one you used in the beginning... happens a lot.

Things to think about having in your book.
A dedication page in the front, a copyright page, a title page, a table of contents, all these pages should all start on the right outside of the copyright page, this should be on the left.

The end of the book should have a author bio. MAYBE A WEBSITE TO BUY THE BOOK OR A BLOG TO FOLLOW MORE AUTHOR NEWS.

You winded yet?

This can be done within 6 month's of the first printing but the sooner the better. Go to and you can print off the form and send in 85 dollars and you will get a certificate back in about 6 weeks. This way it is all yours... If you have this done before printing you need to put the number on the copyright page.

Library control number... again this is a number and it is free but your POD will charge you for it... nice of them huh? This will register your book so all the library's in the country will have it and will know where to order it. I would do this no matter what and takes a minute or so and they will email you with the number and you put this in the Copyright page as well. here is the link:

Here you can again go with a POD publisher or just find a print shop. You want to order 100 books or so but not much more then that. Go with a UV coated cover or if your cover is dark a high gloss but not UV... fingerprints are so bad with the UV and a dark cover. Or better yet go to a nice printer for a UV laminate... no finger prints and a strong cover... let me know if you need some printer names. Off white paper and the lighter the better so make it thin paper. this will make it so the book does not weigh a ton. The printing should cost you from 2-6 dollars per book with no tax... you will charge sales tax so don't let them take you for sales tax. in all depending on the page count out the door with covers binding and all you should end up at the above per book amount. If you pay more kick yourself around the block.

This is based on perfect binding paperback. Hardbacks are more. Most printers will turn around your book in 10 days. And a note get everything in writing and the deadline in writing and the price and all... if you don't you will kick yourself and pay more and wait longer... this process will kill you if you let it. Also do not pay till you have books in hand. Most printers will make you pat 50% down but the rest hold and when you pick up the books go through all of them and look at the spine to see if the cover wrinkled or if the cut in the upper left hand corner is ripped... reject these and the number you end up with make them credit you on the final bill. If the quote was for 100 books and you end up with 87 make them adjust the bill to reflect this. No use paying for a damaged book.

Double check everything... before they print look through a proof copy for chapter starts... are they all on the right side? do they all line up? Is there a header on the chapter starts or on the blank page if there is one on the left? look for these things before you approve them to go to print and after grab a book and make sure they look good.

Gratz... you have a book and now the fun begins.

you can set up a Amazon account one called amazon advantage. This is for you to have amazon sell your book. you set the price and set high, you want to undercut them on your own. But the price cannot be higher then the listed price above your barcode. you will need banking info ect...It is on consignment and they take 55%. after you set up the account you will need to upload all the book info and cover art ect... After this is done you can set up your own store and sell your book on your own and they only take 35%. This is called amazon Seller Central. you have to have your book listed through Amazon Advantage before you can set this one up. Then do same thing and find your book and sell your copy and under cut them by like 3 bucks.

Ebooks. You will need a third amazon account called Amazon digital Platform. This is the E-books account and much of the info is the same. You want to set the e-book price at around .99-6.00 That way you sell a lot, the more the better and it helps you get the book out there. Amazon takes 35-65% depending on the price. To do this you need to convert your book to a ebook ready format. To do this I would hire someone to do it for you. Cost is 35-80 bucks and will save you time and make your ebook look good. you can do a search for these guys or I can refer one to you... if you ask nice.

There is another ebook site called smashwords where you can upload your book and they sell into all the other ebook sites like apple B&N ect... I would do this one as well and your ebook converter guy can convert your book for this app as well. Both have different rules so make sure you look at them.

And you are off... you have a book and ebooks now get out there and sell some books... hope this helps...

This is the process for a self pub or POD way of doing it and does not go into distribution or marketing ect... If you find a small traditional press they will help in a big way on this but you the author are the person to do most of this. Most POD publishers say they will help but are not set up for it and fail most of the time... keep in mind the success of your book is up to you.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

CHAPTER FIVE: The game changer

AmazonEncore to Publish Bestselling Author J.A. Konrath’s Upcoming Book

Amazon’s publishing imprint to release the next book in J.A. Konrath’s Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels series, “Shaken.”

SEATTLE—May 17, 2010—, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced that AmazonEncore, Amazon’s publishing imprint, will release the newest book in bestselling author J.A. Konrath’s Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels series, “Shaken.” The AmazonEncore Kindle edition of “Shaken” will be available in the Kindle Store October, and the print version of the book will be available in February 2011. For more information on AmazonEncore and upcoming titles, visit

“J.A. Konrath’s Jacqueline ‘Jack’ Daniels series is one built on a memorable female lead who is always surrounded by a lively cast of characters and action,” said Jeff Belle, Vice President, Books. “Readers have come to expect Konrath to up the ante with each installment, and ‘Shaken’ delivers the thrills. It’s finely crafted, full of high spirits and accessible to new readers but rewarding for longtime fans.”

“Shaken” is the seventh book in the Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels series. Chicago cop Jack Daniels has chased—and caught—dozens of dangerous criminals over the course of her career. But she’s about to meet her match. When Jack wakes up in a storage locker, bound and gagged, she knows with chilling certainty who her abductor is. He’s called “Mr. K,” and more than 200 homicides have been attributed to him. Jack has tangled with him twice in the past, and both times he managed to slip away. Now Jack will finally have the chance to confront the maniac she has been hunting for more than 25 years. Unfortunately, it won’t be on her terms. In less than two hours, Mr. K is going to do to Jack what he’s done to countless others, and Jack is going to learn that sometimes the good guys don’t win.

J.A. Konrath is the author of the Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels series that includes “Whiskey Sour,” “Bloody Mary,” “Rusty Nail,” “Dirty Martini,” “Fuzzy Navel” and “Cherry Bomb.” All six titles are available to purchase in both print and Kindle format on Konrath has also written under the names Jack Kilborn and Joe Kimball. He has published over a dozen books using Amazon’s Digital Text Platform (DTP), and has been featured in numerous articles and blog posts as an author who is making a living off of Kindle.

“My Kindle readers have been incredibly faithful fans and I’m excited to be able to release the Kindle edition of ‘Shaken’ several months before the physical version is available to purchase,” said Konrath. “Since it’s easier, faster and cheaper to create an e-book than it is a physical book, Kindle owners will get to read the seventh Jack Daniels before everyone else. The ability for authors to reach fans—instantly and inexpensively with a simple press of a button—is the greatest thing to happen to the written word since Gutenberg.”

Announced in May 2009, AmazonEncore is a program which identifies exceptional books and emerging authors using information on, such as customer reviews and sales data. Amazon then works with the authors to introduce or re-introduce their books to readers through marketing and distribution into multiple channels and formats, such as the Amazon Books Store, Amazon Kindle Store,, and national and independent bookstores via third-party wholesalers. AmazonEncore is a brand for titles published by Amazon Content Services LLC.

Konrath will also be speaking at the Advance Your Career with DIY Publishing” panel during the DIY Authors Conference and Marketplace at the BEA Conference, Monday, May 24, 2010.


Okay, that's the official press release. Now I'll take some questions.

Q: You signed a print deal? I thought you weren't signing any more print deals.

A: I signed a print deal with a company that can email every single person who has every bought one of my books through their website, plus millions of potential new customers. I've never had that kind of marketing power behind one of my novels. I'd be an idiot not to do this.

Q: Aren't you going to piss off traditional publishers?

A: Traditional publishers had a chance to buy Shaken last year. They passed on it. Their loss. Their big loss. Their big, huge, monumental, epic fail.

Q: Is Amazon going to sell the Kindle version for a lot of money?

A: Amazon is smart, savvy, and pays attention to my suggestions. The Kindle version of Shaken is going to be released for $2.99. Here's the link if you'd like to pre-order.

Q: The Kindle version is coming out four months before the paper version. Why?

A: It's easier to release an ebook than a print book. Print books require printing, shipping, warehousing, pre-orders from bookstores, etc.

Q: So Shaken will be available in bookstores?

A: If they order copies, yes. We'll see how the Amazon sales department does. I know for sure many of my bookseller friends will get copies into their stores. But I have no idea if the book will actually be stocked in any of the chains or indies. And, frankly, I'm not concerned. I believe this is going to sell well regardless.

Q: What is this going to do for your self-published Kindle ebooks?

A: I imagine it will give them a boost. A big boost. :)

Q: I thought AmazonEncore only published reprints of self-published books by new authors, not original titles from known authors.

A: As far as I know, I'm the first "name" author to have a new, original work published. Several other ebook writers who have self-pubbed on Kindle are going to be released through AmazonEncore over the next year, but I thought it would make a bigger splash to write a book specifically for Amazon. I like making splashes.

Q: What kind of money is Amazon paying you?

A: I signed a non-disclosure agreement, so I can't discuss contract terms. But I will say that my terrific agents have been involved from the very beginning of negotiations, and have been essential in getting me a very favorable contract. I couldn't be happier.

Q: Is this going to be the last Jack Daniels book?

A: Nope. And if anyone is interested in getting a sneak preview of Jack's new villain, Mr. K, he's in the first part of SERIAL UNCUT.

Q: This is potentially a game-changer for the publishing industry.

A: A game-changer? I think it is downright historic. And I couldn't be happier to play a role in the revolution sweeping the publishing world.

There will be a clear-cut winner in this revolution. The winner will be the group that deserves it the most: The Readers. Together, Amazon and I are giving readers what they want--inexpensive, professional ebooks.

I've been saying for over a year that readers don't want to pay a lot for ebooks, and I've been posting lots of data and numbers to back-up that statement. I now have a publisher who agrees with me.

Monday, May 17, 2010

CHAPTER FIVE: Words per day...

So I am going to ramp up my writing in order not to let it slide just because I am busy. My goal is 1000-2000 words a day. I can take Sunday off but outside of that... must do at least this to keep on track. I am reading a great book on writing and getting some good information.

Some things to think about:
Writing about a situation rather them a plot. I have never thought of this and looking back on some of my stuff I guess I do this naturally. Put the guy or gal in a situation and see what they do to get out of it... The plot will come as you write and like this writer I write not knowing what is going to happen next, I find this more fun and very cool to watch the story unfold before your eyes.

Try this:
Put someone in a situation like a man trapped in the woods up in a tree by a angry bear. Start writing and see what happens, see what your character will do to get out of the spot. And be honest... no lies, make sure you don't superimpose what you want him to do but let him do what he will.

You never know what you will get...

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Even if you fail... finish. I am a guy that likes to try new things and I am not scared to fail. In fact I think that anyone I know that has ever been a success has failed many times. You have to give it all you got and kick the reasons you can't out the door... the only person or thing standing in your way is you.

If you wait for the fear inside of you to leave before you ever try anything you will never do anything. Life is about taking risk and making something of yourself... look at all the people you admire in the past and here in the present. They all do something no one else did and ran the race through their fear...

That is the boot you may need... I know I do!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

CHAPTER FIVE: Frustrated!

This dark hole fills my sun like a monster from the deep,
My soul is drained and there is no end to this sorrow,
Can I keep on as the rift grows?
Can I take more of this consuming fear?
Broken, rejected, tossed away and spit upon,
Nothing to hope for but the never ending dark void.

Time is not mine to hold yet I reach out for it in the night,
Around me the monsters lie in wait for the blood that is not mine,
They crush, steel, hurt, and mash as my bones grind to powder,
Shall I awake to a bright dawning?
Not this house filled with mirth and laughter,
It tosses the head and with jolly glee, mocks!

The end is bitter and full of wormwood,
holes fill the core breaking the steel rod across my back,
I take yet another blow as they sneer at my bent body,
Will this ever end?
Does the wing of grace extend to me or am I to be forever in the cold?
The weight of my bitter sorrow implodes my heart and crushes my chest.

Yet as this life, this world takes its knee on my mind,
It will never know, it will go on as if the life of itself is all that matters,
The monster will go on in short miserable steps not knowing that its pain is my own,
Will it rest?
Will I find rest?
I fear not...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

CHAPTER FIVE: Spring and Mom's!

This Mothers Day and it is a beautiful day with the wind killing itself off and the sun winning out over the clouds. I waited for a long time to see this spring day and to get out and fix that darn sprinkler that people keep running over.

In church today or rather in Sunday School we were talking about parenting and the good old spanking issue. I don't really care what you think on the subject and because this is my blog I guess you get to hear my side... hee. hee... just trying to sound mean... did it work?

Well, we should see by now that a time out just does not work and taking the kids cell phone away does not work either. Shall we look back 100 years to how our grandparents were raised? They got beat on the butt if they were out of line and they were respectful of older men and women and we had a generation of law abiding good people.

Look around you now at the Dr. Spock generation and the kids we are raising. Hello! Yeah, the words coming from these kids mouth's a sailor wouldn't even consider saying and this is coming from the girls! It is not working! If you love your child and you are not lazy or scared get the old belt out and dust it off on a backside... It will not kill them and you will have a happy child and one that loves you and respects you. Does your child do that now? Or you trying to be their buddy instead of their parent?

Believe me I do the same thing and I do not want to get off my butt and take care of a problem, but that is lazy and all about me and not my child. This is training and we are supposed to train, that means to discipline them if they do the wrong thing and show them the way to do it right. Now before you get all hot under the collar and call CPS, get a grip and take that same energy and deal with your little brat. I am not talking about hitting the kid or doing anything in anger, this is a tool to use when needed and with love with the idea of training in mind. So ease up and let's not hurt ourselves.

I was spanked as a child and I thank God I was. If I was not punished I would be a monster, hmmm kind of like some kids now days... I am not a perfect parent and I have a lot of growing to do... this is something that we work on and we try to keep to the important things. By that I mean we get on them every-time if it is a attitude thing or a direct violation... not because they didn't ask for a drink of water or went potty without their god's permission. I want to train... remember? And part of that is to teach them to do things for themselves. Like getting their own breakfast or going to the bathroom on their own. I have a five year old who can now get her won breakfast in the morning and also get her little brother's for him and put him in his highchair. She can put away all the dishes in the dishwasher and clean up her own room. She also can play at the park across the street all by herself and cross the street looking for cars. I say all this to help out in the other side of the coin for the over-parent-ers. Is there such a thing? Yes...

This is where we do not let our child breathe without permission and have to control every move they make. We talked about Child centered homes and saw one side of this in a parent who over indulges their child... This same thing is the case with the you will do this and that and if you ever think for yourself without my permission kind of thing is the same thing.

What is this doing to train? They will be great in the Army and good at taking orders but when out from under your wing they go crazy! They are taught not to think for themselves or ever allowed to do anything on their own. The family is 100% focused on the kids and their development and how they should be raised and the poor parents cannot ever even go out on a date because they can't leave them in the care on some high school girl. They might become heathens as you eat out and when you come back you will have to train them all over again! Oh my....

You and your husband are the family. It all started with you and in the end it will be just you again. The children are a addition and should be welcomed into the family but they should not be the focus. The relationship between you and yours should be the center and the kids next. Let me ask you something... Do you read more books on raising children or how to better your marriage? Does she or he come first or the kids? Do you make the children wait till you have mommy and daddy time before they jump in after the long day at work or are you to busy with work or the kids development?

Believe me I am talking to myself and a lot of this is so I can talk this out in my own head. But when all the kids are out this is when you look at the man or woman next to you and say: "Who are you?" Most divorces are after the kids are out... fact.

Remember to do a good job and really try to do right by your kids but they will learn more from watching you and your love then anything else. The love and the way you treat each other will show them instead you you telling them and not doing it yourself. In writing they always say to show not tell... show what you want to say by having the characters do something to show the story. If you just tell the reader what to do is it not as effective. This is true in life as well, I want to look back and say that I was one... real and what I was in front of my kids was the real me even with all the faults. And I want to say that I did my very best. I don't want a child centered home or a parent centered home... I want a home centered around God and them my wife and them the kids. This order is the way God set it up and it still works today... don't believe me... Try it and see for yourself.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

CHAPTER FIVE: Tell me what to do in the name of freedom!

How is it that a small group of people can force the rest of us to do what they want? How is it that we as a nation built on Christian values can let this happen? I don't care if you don't agree with your history or if you don't believe in God. How does this matter, history is history.

Today is the national day of prayer and no matter what today will always be a day to remember God and our roots. If you do not like it move to a country that founded their country on different ideas. In the name of freedom we are losing all of our rights... can't say that word... it is a hate crime! Can't do that... you might hurt yourself... Can't pray cuz someone might not like it!

Guess what? I am free and as long as I am I will do as I am feel is right. You have the freedom not to pray and I have the right to pray. If we stand by and let this happen soon this country will be a pagan mess just like the rest of the world. Write your representative... did you know for every letter they get they assume it speaks for 6000 people? They know people don't write so if just a few of us do it we can make a difference...

I pray for you and I hope you see that soon the monster will turn on you if you keep giving him power.... just ask the environmentalists that got killed by the very pigs they were trying to protect.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

CHAPTER FIVE: Race... not just for breakfast anymore!

Ever look in the mirror and realize you are the worst thing in the world? I did. I am a child molester, a wife abuser, a hate monger, a drug runner, a rapist, a murderer, a scumbag for putting the.... fill in the blank... man down, and all of the other things your momma warned you about.

Yes you know me... I am a middle-aged white male. When was it okay to drag all the racism and turn it on someone else so the people of color could feel better about all their past hurts? I know we all know about what happened and it would all go away and your deep wounds would heal if you would let it! But you wont, instead we have turned the race against all the white people and look down on them and we look down on ourselves because we don't have some sort of color in our bloodline.

Now who gets the job first? The guy with the other in his name. Why... government says you have to. I don't know about me but I would want to be picked for a job because I was qualified instead of getting a hand out because the government forced someone to hire me. I know this is harsh but think about this... I work hard and I have never owned a slave yet I have to pay the price for something someone else did and I am looked bad because of the color of my skin?

Hello... you didn't like it so when did it become right to do it to others? I didn't do anything... did you? Were you personally put into slavery? No... so how about we all forget it and live our lives in peace and I will be your friend and you be mine without looking down on the other. I do not look down on you... do you look down on me because I am white?

What will happen in the future if this goes on like it is... we will have a small minority... the whites. And we will finally stand up and say NO this is not right to hate just because you have some color in your skin and I do not, and this whole process will start over again but this time you will be paying my great grandchildren millions of dollars for something you did to their great grandparents. Round and round we go... time to stop the madness... you make the call.

Anyway... just the ramblings of a starved mind...

Think about it...

Monday, May 3, 2010

CHAPTER FIVE: wow... time... goes... fast...

This is the fifth month of this here crazy blog. Is there a purpose or a plan? Not sure. I do know that I am finding out a lot of things and some of them have been good and some not so good.

In church yesterday we learned about the power of music. I must admit I am not much of a music buff and frankly I could take it or leave it. If the car is silent or has music playing I really don't care either way. But that being said I may be one that gets more influenced by it because I really don't pay attention to it and I know that unlike myself my Daughter really picks up on the songs coming across the radio or the TV.

I think it is time to suck in the old belt as it were and make sure if not for me but for my kids to only play good stuff. I could listen to NPR or the wind all day but for the little ears in the car it will be good for them to hear what is right and uplifting. I know this topic is touchy and I never really thought about it much because of my own lack of interest in the subject. But it is important and I think we will all be a little better off if it is watched.

Soleil is funny, she will sing songs from Sunday School or make up her own, and if something comes on sometimes she will ask if this song is talking about Jesus... good question...

I guess the way I find out if I need to get rid of something is to look at how bad I don't want to. I need to get rid of coffee only cuz I oh so want it and don't want to give it up. Music and movies... not so much, I think we have 4 CD's to our name and most of the movies are kids stuff but there is some that need to go.

The one thing I always think about is what is my willingness to change? If I am willing to fix something in my own life then I know that I am on the right track, I just thank God that he can still get through and even if it is something small I want to do the right thing. Doing the small things today will prepare you for the big things tomorrow.

Thought: What has you? Is it the simple cup of coffee? Or is it bigger? Control your habits don't let them control you.