Category Archives: books

Amazon sent me a letter

And everyone who publishes via Kindle Direct got the same one, I’m sure. The letter asked me to write to Hatchette and plead Amazon’s case. If ebooks are priced lower, they say, they will sell more of them, and everyone makes more money, right?

Um . . .

It doesn’t work quite that way. There have been several responses to this all over the Web, but John Scalzi said it best in his blog last month:


Amazon’s math of “you will sell 1.74 times as many books at $9.99 than at $14.99″ is also suspect, because it appears to come with the ground assumption that books are interchangable units of entertainment, each equally as salable as the next, and that pricing is the only thing consumers react to. They’re not, and it’s not. Someone who wants the latest John Ringo novel on the day of release will not likely find the latest Jodi Picoult book a satisfactory replacement, or vice versa; likewise, someone who wants a eBook now may be perfectly happy to pay $14.99 to get it now, in which case the publisher and author should be able to charge what the market will bear, and adjust the prices down (or up! But most likely down) [emphasis mine KK] as demand moves about.


So I find myself seriously thinking of delaying publishing to Amazon until this whole Hatchette mess is resolved.  Not that Amazon is going to miss my small contribution to their bottom line, but as a reader. There are fine authors such as Lilith Saintcrow and Gail Carriger with new books I can’t pre-order while this mess continues.

I make more sales via Amazon, but I actually make a higher royalty at Smashwords. You can get .mobi format at Smashwords, so I’m considering publishing there and then publishing to Amazon when they get their shit together.

This is not a decision to be made lightly. Definitely not a decision to make when I’ve had maybe two hours of sleep.

I think I shall make like Zofia and have a cup of coffee


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It was an ambitious morning. I got up at 7:30 or so, had a lovely cup of Tanzanian peaberry coffee laced with Kahlua and Faretti (Faretti tastes like biscotti. Italian cookies without all those annoying crumbs), and sat down to look at the latest revisions from the editor in Missouri.

I thought I could get the last fifteen chapters done today. Ah, no. I keep forgetting that editing, in some ways, is more challenging than writing. It’s not just a question of analyzing the edits and accepting all the changes, it’s a chance to revise, expand, describe, make connections between the sentence fragments Zo sometimes things in.

It’s exhausting. It’s a good kind of exhaustion, it’s certainly been a productive day, but it appears 5.5 hours of it (this does not include the break for pancakes) is enough to turn my brain to tapioca pudding.

So, I’m taking a break with some Red Sox baseball and came her to WordPress with a very special announcement:

All the edits for Snow Job are back. I will be announcing a publication date by the 2nd of August.

One of the nice things about indie publishing is you can go pretty quickly from final manuscript to the market. There will be another revision, then there’s formatting, and then the actual publishing. I’ll be looking for reviewers–ideally other authors, or perhaps some people with review blogs. Busy as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs, in other words.

I’m thinking I need a logo . . .

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Life is what happens when you make other plans

Hi everyone.

A lot has been happening in the life of this indie author. I’m not quite sure where to start.

I have finished my Project Management classes. I did reasonably well on the assignments, but there’s s, still one assignment and participation to be graded. I should hear in a couple weeks. The textbook, while extremely dry, I think is the best resource for helping study for the exam.

The exam. I have been studying test questions (there’s an app for that. Actually, there are several), I have a couple of books and I am hoping to be ready to attempt at least the CAPM in March. Wish me luck.

BloodyMurder #3 is on its way to the editor as of Monday. It takes place in January of 2004 and takes Zofia to a few places she doesn’t usually go to. You’ll also find out a bit more about Michael and why his relationship with his dad is strained at best.

I was in the path of Hurricane Sandy, but was extremely lucky. The streets just south and east of us lost power, but we were generally okay. Just to be on the safe side, we put our biggest Rubbermaid plastic container in the freezer for ice, and filled up the tub in the guest bath in case we needed water for flushing. We also at the ice cream, because it might melt.

The week before Thanksgiving, I had surgery, specifically a hysterectomy. I was sent home in a scant 48 hours and have been slowly recovering since. I have a scar that looks like a question mark on my abdomen. I’m not in a lot of pain (yay Percocet!), but that cuts two ways. I keep feeling “all right” and then I move the wrong way. Bending and twisting are not the order of the day, let me tell you. I expect to try and drive again this weekend.

I’ve been neglecting poor Zofia and friends because of narcotic fog and because I am terribly tired all the damnn time. I have made a good start on #5 (#4 is in revision and will be for a while). I have quite a few more stories to tell, and I thank you for sticking with me.

While recovering, I have been doing a lot of reading. I’m back into Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan series. Lippman writes deeply real characters and has a talent I’m trying to cultivate–making the scene function almost like a character.Chandler did it with LA in the Philip Marlowe books. Colin Cotteril and Tim Hallinan both do it with Thailand and Laos.

Dani Amore has a new Mary Cooper book out. Buy it.

November was great for other new books as well. I polished off the new Harry Dresden book in two sittings and whipped through the available October Daye books by Seanan McGuire. On tap is Kevin Hearne’s latest in the Iron Druid series. If you like sarcasm, there’s plenty of it in the form of an Irish Wolfhound. Trust me.

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Laser, then shotgun

A friend pinged me last night and asked why Post Parcel wasn’t available in an epub format yet and the answer is the title of today’s post.

For those not familiar with the indie publishing world (and I’ve only scratched the surface), Amazon makes it really easy. They also have a program called Kindle Select. Post Parcel is exclusive to Amazon for 90 days. By taking part in this program, the book is available for Prime members to borrow, and I get a little marketing out of it. I thought it was worth a try since I’ve sold more books and received more reviews at Amazon than any other retailer. So, there’s the laser approach.

I do plan to have it in B&N and GooglePlay and in the Kobo store in time for the glut of holidays that come in December if you want to give someone a virtual stocking stuffer.

I will likely attempt the Smashwords meat grinder in order to get the books out to as many markets as I possibly can, ergo shotgun. I’m looking forward to the experiment. Their formatting instructions seem to be a bit involved, but I’m confident I have the right tools.

Thank you for reading!

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Post Parcel cover!

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Announcing Post Parcel

“That would explain the lack of packing slip.”

Happy Sunday everyone! I am proud to announce that the second of the Bloody Murder series, Post Parcel will be available on Amazon for Kindle on August 31.

It’s been nearly five months since Zofia Smith tripped over a body in her New Orleans bookstore. The killer got away, but Zofia is sure she’s out of danger. Life was back to its normal routine, until a U.P.S. delivery contained not only an item Bloody Murder never ordered, but something with a strong tie to Feliz’s family. The delivery is followed by a visitor from one of Feliz’s in-laws, someone she’d hoped never to see again. As the mystery gets more complicated, Feliz and Zofia find their partnership and their friendship challenged as Zofia’s curiosity won’t let her not pursue the truth.

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August 5, 2012 · 2:18 pm

What I’m Reading and What I’m waiting for

May and June have been great months for books so far. I treated myself to another one of Kerry Greenwood’s  Phyrne Fisher novels, this one called Queen of the Flowers. Phyrne and her family are up to their necks in mystery and not a little drama. One of  her adopted daughters goes looking for her biological father, Phyrne is Queen of the Flowers in an annual parade and one of her handmaids disappears. An old love appears, a scandal brews and I can’t wait to see how this one ties together.

May has been a favorite month for a while because May is when John Sandford’s newest Prey book starring Lucas Davenport gets released.  Stolen Prey is a wonderfully  complex mystery, not just a whodunit, but howdunit, and there are conspiracies several levels deep. I love Sandford’s series–the Kidd books and the Virgil Flowers book are wonderful as well.

If you’ll pardon a couple of fangirl moments, I am having a ton of fun with Sabrina Chase’s The Long Way Home, which begins a trilogy with a promise of action, adventure, excitement, really wild things and a big dose of “how did I get eighty years in the future?”

For my other fangirl moment, I am eagerly awaiting Libriomancer,the first in a new series by Jim C. Hines. A magic system based on books, with a secret society going back to Gutenbery. I can’t wait. Hines has great style, his tongue firmly in his cheek and his characters manage to be appropriately wise without being preachy.

Speaking of book magic, at the recommendations of a couple of different people, I started on Jasper Fforde’s Thusday Next series. These are a whirlwind of literary action and espionage. My only complaint here is the Kindle versions are more expensive than the paperbacks.

Back on the mystery front, I recently picked up another Tess Monaghan book by Laura Lippman. Lippman adores Baltimore with the same passion I love New Orleans, and I just love the character of Tess. I’m several books into the series and Tess has managed to grow and change in a realistic fashion while sharpening her skills as an investigator. I’m up to In a Strange City. If you’d like to get started, Baltimore Blues is the first in the series.

A couple of indie authors have caught my eye. I”ll let you know if I consider them a good find in a future entry. Thank you for reading!

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In praise of the Unitasker (with apologies to Alton Brown)

No, I didn’t goof and put a Knives, Fire and Fun entry under bloodymurderbooks. I firmly feel that you can’t talk about unitaskers without talking about Mr. Brown. If you’ve ever seen Good Eats, you’ve heard him say that the only unitasker permitted in his kitchen is the fire extinguisher.

For the past number of years, it seems that people’s attention span is shrinking (I’m not referring to those who have ADD, I’m discussing a societal issue not a medical one). Garry Trudeau made some satire about USA Today presenting news in quick, easily digestible sound bites. News stories are rarely in-depth unless you are listening news radio. Movies, which commonly ran for three hours when I was a kid, usually top out at two these days.

The akamaireader (you may have noticed we talk a lot), sent me another article about the publishing industry. In this one, it appears that publishers are more pessimistic about future book sales and part of the blame goes to tablets. Why just read a book when you can play Angry Birds? Or watch a movie? Or check your bank balance, look up the sports scores, time your tea steeping, listen to music, you get the idea. Distraction city.

There’s a bunch of us that love our early Kindles and Nooks and Kobos (though I think Kobo,isn’t long for this world) because they do little else but provide us with reading material. I use five functions on my Kindle–the reading of books, the storing of books, the shopping for books, the changing of the font size and the dictionary. I will stipulate that text-to-speech is a great feature, though I don’t use it. I can, if I wish, update Facebook with my favorite quotes from something I’m reading, but I do not feel the need to stop what I’m doing to share a quote with my friends. Neither do I web browse while reading, or listen to music.

There is a certain joy in immersing myself mindfully while doing just one thing, whether it is meditating (which I need more practice at), reading, cooking, making love. Being THERE, totally in the moment, it’s just beautiful. I think the world would be a better place if we stopped trying to be everywhere at once and slowed down and enjoyed the moment (especially me).

So I don’t want to be distracted by Angry Birds. I’ll play it later on my phone.

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Indie Find: Dani Amore

I spent many of the intervening years between 1987 and 2007 working part-time in bookstores belonging to various chains. Besides the hefty discounts, we also had borrowing privileges, which I made liberal use of. I developed a bad habit of buying books the day they hit the market (called a “street date”). As intended, the more reading I did, the better I was at selling books. “Oh, you like this? Then you’ll love. . .XYZ.”

If you like sarcasm, you are going to love Mary Cooper in Death by Sarcasm. Her mind works quickly and she’ll keep you on your toes. She is decidedly hard-boiled, which I admire. Some of my favorite detectives are hard-boiled. Philip Marlowe, the Continental Op, Sam Spade. The private detective in a hard-boiled novel is tough. He or she has seen it all and almost nothing comes as a surprise. Well, except maybe creative use of a Richard Nixon mask, but I will not spoil any further. There’s a world-weariness, a cynicism because life can royally, truly suck. Yet, there’s sensitivity too, and hope. You’ll like Mary. I’ll definitely be checking out more of Amore’s books. You can visit her website here. Tell her you like her book. Tell her the author of Bloody Murder sent you.


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What I’m reading

I wasn’t really bit on non-fiction as a kid, unless it had to do with animals and nature.  My parents had a Time-Life series of books about the natural world as it was known mumble years ago. I did read some, but mostly I looked at the pictures.

Most recently, at my boyfriend’s urging, I downloaded 1491 New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus which I’m really enjoying. Charles Mann discusses a lot of the history my generation was taught and some new and interesting facts about the native cultures in North, South and Central America. I didn’t know, for example, that the Inka had a road system that covered most of the continent’s west coast. What’s fascinating, is they were built for a culture that used llamas (watch out, they spit), so they could build roads that were literally steps in the mountains. Pizarro and company had a hell of a time leading horses over these.

I’m also on the verge of finishing The Jew in the Lotus, which is a fascinating story of a group of rabbis who travel to India to meet with the Dalai Lama for a sort of cultural exchange. What commonalities were there with these exiled cultures? It’s a great read, no matter what your religion.

For fiction, I’m hanging out in Asia these days. Since I never read the whole series, and in fact lost track of where I was, I stared Laura Joh Rowland’s Sano Ichiro books again. The series takes place in the seventeenth century, mostly in the district of Edo. Sano is a samurai with an academic background who is charged with solving murders. He has to navigate through a world of politics and class distinctions,  and be blunt where normal behavior is very polite and often indirect.

If you want to escape to more modern Asia, there are a variety of ways you can visit Thailand. Google any of the following names; Jimm Juree, Vincent Calvino, Sonchai Jitpleecheep. Adventures galore!

In the fantasy realm, I’m currently reading Mistborn: the Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. I really like the metal-based magical system, and the main character who was supposed to be dead at the hands of the Lord Ruler is planning a revolution that just might work. Might. I don’t want to give any spoilers.

If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll follow me on Twitter @katekulig. When I reach 100 followers, I will release the title of the second Bloody Murder novel.

Thank you for reading!

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