Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Special Thanks: Get my ebook free this weekend

Hi. I've heard from so many of you who enjoyed my Salon.com article that I'd like to share my ebook with you free. No strings attached.

This weekend, Murderhouse Blues will be available for a click.

Here's the link:

http://www.amazon.com/Murderhouse-Blues-ebook/dp/B00C52ELY2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1364949527&sr=1-1&keywords=murderhouse+blues

The price will be zero Saturday and Sunday.

Hope you enjoy it. Tell as many folks as you'd like.

Be Well,
John

14 comments:

  1. Enjoyed your Slate piece, and got your novel. I'll review it eventually. I'm sure I won't be the only one.

    Are you on twitter?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. A review would be great. Can always use solid feedback. Even if it hurts!
      Best,
      John

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  2. Hi Johnathan - I read your Slate article. Haven't read your book, but wanted to download some "good advice" from a former publisher.

    Everything you did is only meaningful *if you already had an audience*. Because you didn't bother talking with people, just at them and there were no people in the room with you, your trailer, your book, your downloads, etc, are all you talking to an empty room.

    The point of promotion is to get people to know you, and let them know your product exists. You set your book on a street corner with a "for free" sign, then waited. Passivity is a terrible promotional strategy. You could have been making friends, talking with folks on social media, joining lists, making sure your books are tagged and categoried so people can find them. There's a LOT yet you haven't even tried, so get back out there and pound those boards!

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    1. I definitely hear what you're saying and can't argue. And giving things away is not the answer. However, I do like to know that the work I've done ends up in someone's hands, eyeballs and mind. I saw a story on the news about writers who sell on the job: a cabbie who keeps his book on the dashboard, and a store clerk who keeps them on the counter. ABC - always be closing, I guess.
      Best,
      John

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  3. Loved your piece in Salon about self-publishing. I went that route, self-published an anthology of my previously published short stories. Everything you mentioned I remember going through, especially the free give-aways. Self-publishing is certainly not the way to go. I would rather put my efforts into writing another book than to spend all that time looking at sales, making promo videos, offering free give-aways, ... etc.

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    Replies
    1. Hi. Thank you for your note. Indeed, DIY is not optimal for all the reasons you've mentioned. The larger question, I think, is with the traditional publishing industry in such a sorry state and self-publishing backed by Amazon and other deep-pocketed companies will the balance ever shift? What will that mean? Michael Chabon self-publishing? Tough to read those tea leaves. Best to just keep writing and not worry about that stuff. Best, John

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  4. Hello John!
    Read your article--saw Chuck Wendig mention it on his blog. Well written! Downloading your free book right now.

    Personally, I think the networking should come before the publishing. People publish and then do the marketing and wonder why nobody buys. But it's like standing on the street begging for charity from strangers versus going to your friend and asking for twenty bucks. Which is more likely to happen? The friend, unless you're a chronic borrower.

    Also, I think part of the problem you're having isn't around the lack of marketing, but the way it's presented. For example, Murderhouse Blues looks like a home-made cover. It's a stock image with text on it sandwiched between two blocks of colour. The big publishing houses don't generally put out covers like that and readers know this.

    I've seen a lot of self-published authors do that and it screams "I didn't hire an editor" even though the writing itself may be fantastic. But readers who read self-pubbed work look for things like this to see if it's actually good, because it's so easy for ANYBODY to post something to Amazon nowadays.

    It doesn't matter how many people click on your links if they stare at the cover and then walk away.

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  5. Dude... Ten bucks? There's your problem. List the Kindle edition for $.99 or at most $2.99 if you want people to bite. If I am going to spend a full $10, it is going to be on a book I can reasonably assume will be good.

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  6. Bought the book (missed the freebie) just to give you some feedback and support. Agree with Joel about the price; almost stopped when I saw the Kindle price at $8. Bought it anyway, but think you might want to look around at market prices.

    Will send feedback once I read it. Good luck!

    Bruce Maples
    brucewriter.com
    brucemaples.com

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  7. Hi. John here. It's free again this weekend. Sorry you missed it.

    As for the higher price (which I just lowered on both versions). The reason is that if you set it really low I've found your book ends up getting listed in the "what other people bought..." section on Amazon with some really bad stuff. Did I say bad? Wretched. Unreadable.

    I usually offer to people who end up buying a copy that if they are dissatisfied I will send them a classic off my own shelf. So, drop me a line if that's the case.
    Thanks for the feedback.
    Be Well, John

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  8. Please post more about your experience with the Salon piece - and its aftermath. I'd love to hear more about that (I read every bit about Elle Lothlorien's experience with a free promotion for The Frog Prince (which I loved - not in HER demographic either) on Digital Book World.

    I read about it on Anne R. Allen's blog (I think), clicked through, read the Salon piece, followed the lead to your blog.

    The attraction? The funny, slightly irreverent take on publishing (and the new pope). IE, the voice.

    I hope the mystery (thanks!) has a lot of that voice.
    ABE

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  9. Thank you for your kind words. The aftermath of the Salon piece was a lot of heartfelt advice. And some pity, too. Not sure what to do with the latter. (For the most part I didn't read the comments on Salon, nor the ones on Reddit, where someone posted the link). I've heard some were quite nasty. Salon warns writers that we read those at our peril.
    As for the "voice" of the thriller, it's more (and I'm being hopeful here to mention these names and myself in the same breath) of an attempt to write as if Don DeLillo and John Updike had a love child. Not sure I hit the mark, but I hope, at least, it's creepy and well-observed.
    My short stories will be out soon and some of the stories are an attempt at humor. If I have your email address I'll send you the one I think is the funniest. Either that, or I'll try to post it here on the blog if I can master the technology. Be Well, John

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    1. You might want to switch your profile photo to the one on the Salon piece - I think it is probably a better likeness.

      I enjoyed your Hollister piece - think you should prepare to reapply for the job of Supreme Pontiff (the internet ate my comment) when it is vacant again.

      Meanwhile, I believe the Archbishopric of Buenos Aires is available; if you get the current Pope to name you Cardinal before you turn 80, you would still qualify when he vacates the See of Peter.
      ABE

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  10. Really enjoyed your article as I have spent two full weeks sucking up like crazy on every social network there is with no visible results in sales so far. Kindle version not available yet, though, so maybe ..... However, I just know I'm going to give away more books than I really want to. But, as you said, I wanted to write a book. I wrote a book. There it is on my shelf: 27 copies of it!

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