How I have used my book titles to establish my brand

When a potential reader looks at a book product page in one of the on-line bookstores, the first two things they are likely to notice are a book’s title and its cover. A good title can not only capture a reader’s interest, but it can signal the genre and sub-genre of the book, the setting and time period of the story, and it can even reveal a little about the plot. In addition, if the book is part of a series, the title can help brand that series. I am going to discuss the titles of both my novels and my shorter works in my mystery series to demonstrate how a title can achieve all of the above. In 2009, when I published my first novel, Maids of Misfortune: A Victorian San Francisco Mystery, I knew it was to be Read more…

A Fall Update and some Discounts

A Fall Update: As summer comes to a close, I’ve become very aware of the fact that in December I will have been a published indie author for 10 years. This means I have seen self-publishing change dramatically from the early days when I felt the need to explain that publishing through Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace was different from publishing through a vanity press, to the so-called gold rush years when my income from the sales of my books had visions of sugar plums dancing in my head, to now, when I have come to understand that I am not willing to spend the time and energy that it would take (in both writing and marketing) to recapture the income level I was making in those gold rush years. I came to this realization this summer, when I encountered Read more…

Findaway Voices and Chirp: Are we entering into a new era for audiobook sales for indies?

“Half of Americans over the age of 14 have listened to an audiobook in the past year…” ––Publishers WeeklyApril 25, 2019, from a survey conducted for the Audio Publishers Association. Audiobook revenues rose 36% in the past year—AAP report February, 2019 As I have posted earlier this week, the first book in my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series, Maids of Misfortune, is on sale for 99 cents on Chirp, an audiobook promotion site that, in partnership with Findaway Voices, has the potential to expand the audiobook market for indie authors such as myself. I haven’t done one of these long posts about the publishing industry and indie authors in a long time because, frankly, there seem to be so many other great sources of information out there (see my blog roll at the bottom of the page.) However, this Chirp Read more…

Come check out my updated website

In December of 2009, I had just put out my first book, Maids of Misfortune, when I published my first blog on my newly created website. Except for a little tweaking here and there, I haven’t changed the look of that website since then. However, I recently did a major update, and I would love some feedback from you all about what you think of the new look. First, a Little History:  It is hard to believe, but in 2009, the whole indie author movement was in its infancy. The explosion of ebooks and audiobooks as alternatives to print and the expansion of the online market place as an alternative to physical bookstores hadn’t happened yet. And there certainly wasn’t a vibrant industry devoted to helping indie authors achieve success. In fact, most of the advice that was out there for authors Read more…

What I learned from my Recreational Reading: Part Two

I wasn’t surprised to learn that almost all of the books I bought and read in 2016 were ebooks—bought online from Amazon. In fact, a number of the books I decided to reread I already owned in print, but I decided to buy ebook editions after I started to reread them. This was because those books that were paperbacks (some that I bought over 30 years ago) were generally in terrible shape—covers falling off, pages falling out­­––and the small print made some of them unreadable. The hardbacks were in better shape, with larger print, but they tended to aggravate the arthritis in my wrists when I read them for any length of time at one sitting. In contrast, my Kindle Paperwhite is small, lightweight, with adjustable fonts, and it is easy to dust so I don’t sneeze when I pull Read more…