Category Archives: ebooks

Thanks to Everyone at the Natchitoches – NSU Folk Festival

 

What a great time at the Natchitoches NSU Folk Festival! There were tons of people that came by to visit, many of them who were familiar with the turpentine camp that I wrote about in The Bottle Tree and one gentleman had even been there and we talked about what it looked like! It turns out that my great Aunt who had first told me about the camp had taught him in school when he was a kid.

Many, many thanks to everybody that came by and special thanks to those of you who bought the books! We almost sold out of The Bottle Tree and quite a few people bought Junebug and the Body and No' Chance as well.

I hope you enjoy the read and please let me know when you finish them.

We were invited back for next year so I'll have to get to work and finish a couple more books to have there!


Heroes and Villains

My wife convinced me to read the YA trilogy, The Hunger Games and I must say I'm pretty impressed. Being YA books they are a very fast read but the author does a great job of creating a complete world even though the books are unraveling at a breakneck speed.

The villain in the story is both the system and a character named President Snow (who I invariably picture as Newt Gingrich), but it raised interesting questions in my mind as to how books develop.

It is generally accepted that novels have to have a protagonist (hero) and an antagonist (villain) although sometimes the real villain is a system or way of life although that can also be embodied in a specific person. 

This was done wonderfully in the Hunger Games books just as J.K. Rowling managed to do in the Harry Potter series. Both President Snow and Voldemort are absolutely evil with no redeeming features, as opposed to a more sophisticated embodiment of evil such as Hannibal Lecter.

In my own books, I have one character in No' Chance, Silas, who is evil and I made no attempts to develop a reason for his evil or gave the reader any sympathy toward him. In Junebug and the Body, there is a villain (I won't give away who it is) that, while they're not evil, they are definitely the bad guy.

In The Bottle Tree, my personal favorite to write, I used a character to embody the racial atmosphere that existed in the Deep South as a way of life at that time. 

One of the new books I am working on, in addition to the second book in the Junebug and the second book in the Noah Chance series, is about methamphetamine use and the villain in that book is really the drug and poor choices in life.

What are your thoughts? Is one kind of villain preferable over the others?

I know many of my readers are also writers. If that is you, which type of villain do you prefer reading about and which do you prefer to write about?

Publisher’s Greed on Kindle

 

Look, I'm all for publishers (and especially for writers) making money. Profit is why they do this but I'm a bit tired of looking for older books to carry on my Kindle and finding that they are priced more than the print copy.

An example.

I bought Bill Clinton's autobiography, "My Life", when it first came out in hardback. Unfortunately, I got sidetracked and never finished it and the weighty tome (1056 pages) now sits on my bookshelf. I still intend to finish it but it's too big to carry with me and nowadays most of my reading is done on trips. Knowing that I have a trip to Vegas coming up I went to Amazon to buy the book on Kindle so I could read it there and back.

The price? $19.99. The price for the hardbound copy that sits on my shelf, $21.41 new from Amazon, $3.60 new from the Amazon Market. The paperback  version from Amazon sits at $16.50.

This happens over and over when you look for books. The publishers are forcing Amazon to set the Kindle prices at just a dollar or two less than the printed version.

While I'm happy about this in a way, because it encourages people to look at the independent writers and publishers like me, as a reader I'm pissed. There is no justification, other than greed and unhappiness that the Kindle market has taken off, for the publishers to keep the prices this high.

They can piss, moan, and complain about falling profits, but isn't it better to sell three e-books at $10, than one at $19.95? Not only do you save on the costs of a physical book, but you encourage more people to buy and read.

I don't like the fact that the small bookstores are going by the wayside and I try to support them when possible (we don't have a book store in the small town where I live) but I'm beginning to believe the publishers deserve what is happening to them.

Why I Write for the Kindle and Nook

A couple of people have asked if I'm going to publish print versions of my books and the answer is, probably so, but I'm not in a big hurry to do so.

Yes, many people don't have access to Kindles and Nooks and that limits my market right now. I know, people can read them using the free viewers for Kindle and Nook available for computers, but I'm not a big fan of reading on the computer and I suspect many others feel the way I do. Reading on the Kindle is a pleasure as it appears to be for the Nook. As a side note, as I get older the ability to increase the size of the font on the Kindle becomes a favorite feature.

One main reason that i write for the Kindle and Nook is that it's easy. I can write what I want, how I want, and don't have to listen to anybody telling me to change it so it looks more like something else that is on the market. I could mimic someone else but then it's not really me writing and, as other writers know, we write because we have to write not always because we want it to be marketable. As a character in the television series Supernatural whined, "Writing's hard!"

Another reason I write eBooks is because I can set the selling price. Since I got my Kindle I have gotten very, very conscious of what books cost. For some reason it sticks in my craw to pay $1 less for a Kindle book than a print copy. Certainly, I still do it sometimes but I know that the prices the big publishers charge for eBooks could be cut, they just choose not to and fight the market. I have found some great books on Amazon that were priced at $4.99 or less, and some for as little as $ .99 (even a few for free) and so I now look for more independent writers and spend less time looking through the bestseller lists. Sure, some have a few spelling or grammatical errors and some have formatting issues (I know from experience there are still bugs in the conversion programs)  but I can forgive a lot for a $20 savings.

I LOVE the feel and smell of a book, but realistically eBooks are the wave of the future not only for the reasons cited above, and I will again emphasize the ability to increase the font size, but also because they read well in the sun and are extremely convenient. I can carry hundreds of books around with me in a package smaller and lighter than most printed copies. Since I travel a lot, this is also a big deal.