Thursday, October 14, 2010

Without my Mom, What Remains of Me?

My mom passed away on the morning of October 5th, 2010. I was there in the hospital room, holding her hand when she passed through the light and into HIS loving arms. She was everything to me. This is one of my favorite pictures of me with my mom. We'd just finished unwrapping Christmas presents and I was tucked into my pajamas for the night. I don't remember how old I was but I know that the silver plated horn became a long time companion. No, I never learned how to play a horn professionally, but I sure enjoyed play acting like I knew what I was playing on it! And the toy cash register was fun for awhile until I figured out no one was going to give me real money to play with.

I look at this little snapshot from the late fifties or early sixties and I want to just pretend that some of those Twilight Zone episodes could come true and I could actually go back into that photograph and be right there.....right then.....with my mom and my family. My father is gone. My mom is now gone. I am frightened.

I have no interest in writing. The emptiness I feel inside may cause me to stray from writing. I've had my serious bouts of giving up the writing and concentrating on other things in the past and I suspect this may sever me completely from the barely glowing embers of my passionate affair with writing. I may seek diversion in something more immediate. Instant gratification might be what I need right now and writing doesn't provide me with that. Who knows.

I know this particular blog is just a way for me to express what I'm feeling right now and not really anything many of you will be interested in. Please hold on to all the moments you can capture with your parents if they are still alive.....or with family and loved ones.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I've Just Lowered My Kindle Books. Is Pricing The Secret To Kindle Success?

First things first. I just lowered all my $5.99 priced Brenda Strange books to $4.99. That is a whopping $1.00 off.  Now all the Brenda Strange books are reasonably priced and for those who have been wanting to read one or more, now is the time to pick one or two up and try them on for size. But please wait 24 hours before ordering. Amazon tells me that once I change the price of an eBook, the book will not be available for purchase for 24 hours.

And the above brings me to the subject of eBook pricing. It's a hot topic among readers and authors and I imagine publishers too. What is a good price for an eBook?  For me, I will bypass an eBook if it is over $6.99. That is just my own, self-imposed limit. Without going into all the controversy of how much eBooks still cost to produce and that they should be priced as competively as paper books, I still think $9.99 is a good limit for the price of an eBook. Is that because Amazon has been telling us this for so long that I've finally been brainwashed into believing it? I don't know. But even so, because of my budget, I usually won't splurge over $7.99 for an eBook and no more than $4.99 for an unknown or new author. Again, these are my own decisions based on budget restraints. Those that have unlimited or more expendable capital may not care what the price of an eBook is and that is fine too.

In any case, if you care to post about your own ideas and beliefs on the pricing of eBooks, please leave your comment. All comments are extremely welcomed. And don't forget to check out the lower prices on my Brenda Strange Kindle releases.

Friday, July 23, 2010

eBook? Paper? Prices?

Okay, I never thought I could love more than one. Smelling, touching and enjoying a paper book was always at the top of my most enjoyable pastimes. I questioned eBooks immediately and never imagined I could enjoy an electronic book like a paper book. Plus, my budget prohibited even considering ever, ever owning an eBook. Then a wonderful friend gifted me with an older Kindle 1. I now understand being able to love more than one. I really am enjoying my Kindle.

I have at least four books I would love to read as a Kindle book. I probably won't be reading least not on my Kindle. Why? They are over $10 each. I simply cannot afford to pay $11.99 or more for a Kindle download when a used copy in very good condition is half the price. The problem, however, is that I am running out of space to put books. I am enjoying my Kindle so much that I planned on making most purchases really low-priced eBooks or freebies.

I know publishers have been fighting off Amazon to have the rights to sell their books for a higher price than the recommended limit of $9.99 suggested by Amazon, but if they get their ways, will we be looking at eBooks being priced at $20 eventually? Who will buy? Will the reader say the hell with it, give away or sell some of their books taking up space, and merely continue to buy used or lower priced copies of paper books?  An eBook will never offer the sensation of a good, paper book, so I won't ever get tired of that or give it up.

So, right now, the best thing is that we have the option of eBooks and paper books. I'm not going to pay that much for an eBook even though I would have preferred it. I will buy the cheaper paper book and just make room for it by donating another book off my shelf or giving it away to make room for the new one.

eBooks.....they should remain reasonably priced. Under $10. I know many will disagree, but this is merely my own opinion. I won't support an eBook priced higher than $10. I will wait or find a more budget-friendly alternative.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How Indie Publishing Can Raise Money for Charities

This is a very special post. Why? Isn't it just another book I'm going to tell you about so that you'll go out and buy it, enjoy it and feed the authors and publishers who brought you the entertainment?

No. Well, it is a book I want to tell you about, but the only ones who will profit from buying a copy of DARK THINGS will be the readers who are definitely going to enjoy a collection of stories that will surely entertain and creep you out (that is a good thing for horror fans, right?) and the ASPCA. For those who don't know what that is, it stands for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The ASPCA has shelters all over the country who are humanely housing, feeding, neutering, spaying and attempting to adopt out dogs, cats, beloved pets. They run on shoestring budgets, all of them dependent on donations from the national organization and also local patrons. Animal charities truly need our help. The economic struggles in this country have affected so many families already living on the edge, that some have had to move from or leave their foreclosed homes. Many pets are being left behind. It isn't the right thing to do and most of us would never leave a family pet behind, but it is happening. Shelters, normally on a tight budget, are now overwhelmed with left behind pets. They  need our help.

Publishing eBooks has become a digital revolution. It is possible for independent authors to publish eBooks and bring many books into the hands of readers that might not have been possible in print. Three authors, myself included, have given of their time and talent, to pen four stories of dark fiction that will please all who love the genre. Every single cent from the proceeds of the sales of DARK THINGS will go to the ASPCA. Black Car Publishing will not receive one penny. The authors have donated all their royalties. Here are the blurbs for the stories in the book.
                                    "From Patty G. Henderson, Her Apparition is a chilling and tragic tale of a house with an unrestful spirit that must reveal a long ago, brutal murder before it can rest. And in I Sing the Body Dead, Henderson weaves a touching story of a young girl's unholy gift she shares with her mother and the terrifying consequences of calling up the dead.

From MJ Williamz, The Hunted is a vampire tale set in the steamy, sultry city of New Orleans. With vibrant storytelling sure to please the thirst for blood among vampire fans, Williamz blends the allure of New Orleans and the exciting story of an unlikely relationship between an ancient vampire and the descendant of her arch-nemesis, a vampire hunter.

VW Massie presents Skin, a tale that builds to a frightening and unbelievably chilling end. Two sisters become the unwilling victims of demonic beings using modern technology to terrorize us. Maybe you'll think twice about installing that cable box after reading this story. And you will never again look in the mirror without a shiver and without thinking of Massie's Skin.

DARK THINGS is now available for purchase as a Kindle book on for only 2.99. This is a great read to take to the beach or to curl up with on a late night. However, I can't guarantee that you'll be able to turn out the light after reading DARK THINGS.

If you enjoy the supernatural/horror genre or even a mystery with a big splash of horror in it, order a copy of DARK THINGS. You won't just be getting a chilling collection of short stories, but you'll be helping out millions of unwanted pets waiting for new owners who need our help. It's only spending $2.99 for reading pleasure and a worthy donation. Win-Win situation.

Order from Amazon at: DARK THINGS by Patty G. Henderson,     MJ Williamz and VW Massie.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Will Cover Artists Be a Thing of the Past or the Next Most Important Thing to the Success of Your eBook?

So, the eBook revolution has begun. And I believe it to be a true revolution this time. eBooks aren't going back into the closet after false starts. Indie publishing especially has been pushing and embracing this eBook euphoria. New and formally traditionally published authors are finding freedom and financial satisfaction in independently publishing their own Kindle books and selling on Amazon while keeping all the profits for themselves. Why split it with a publisher?

A disturbing trend I have found is that when I buy and download some of the Kindle books from major publishers, they have no cover image. I was shocked and surprised. I also found no cover image for an independently published books as well. Are many of you discovering the same thing? Fearing it could be my Kindle 1 being on the "fritz," I actually downloaded a sample from one of my own Brenda Strange Kindle eBooks, knowing full well I had uploaded a cover image myself. Sure enough, my cover image was including in my Kindle purchase of my book. Yet, there were no cover images in three of the Kindle books I had ordered from a prominent mystery paperback publisher.

If the new wave of Kindle eBooks are going be completely text.....the book as published but minus any cover graphic, will the importance of cover art be the next thing to get hit in the publishing industry? If publishers will no longer even supply a cover image for your eBook purchase, why bother getting a real, attention-getting cover? Just push the brilliance of the actual book.....the author's story.

Or, could an outstanding, completely eye-popping cover be the most important sales tool an eBook author is going to have? When your browsing is no longer the spine of a book at a brick and mortar store, but the Internet page on Amazon or iPad or other online bookseller, you will need to stand out from all the other books vying for your eye-candy appeal. Unless you already have a ready-made fan base or brand, new or developing authors will need to appear as professional and "ready to be read" and draw more attention than other authors vying for the same space. If you're looking for a new author and you've got a page of covers, which cover will you click on first, the one with a plain, one color and single graphic or the professional looking, custom created cover with multiple graphics and unique fonts?  Yes, of course, your story blurb will also need to sell your book, but the cover, in a sea of covers, will be the initial grab. Or will it?

As we move into a digital publishing world, we still don't don't know what impact the eBook will have in the long term look of publishing. Will it be merely a slight tremor instead of the full blown earthquake we are anticipating? If so, what will the publishing terrain look like after the dust settles? Will covers be a major selling point in the eBook world or something that takes a back seat to the meat and potatoes of book publishing, the written word? As both an author and a book cover artist, I am very intrigued by the possibilities.

Thoughts? Comments?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

"Stigma..." It's Such a Nasty Thing

Indie publishing might be making waves and splashes in the big business world of publishing, but so many still won't let go of the stigma attached to self-publishing. I'm taking it upon myself to quit using the term "self-published."  No, not because I don't like it or because it means a bad and dirty thing.....No. It's because it still has the stink of stigma attached to it.

Let me expound. I was a fairly successfully published author by one of the bigger traditional, lesbian publishing companies, Bella Books. Yep, they are approved by the MWA. Imagine that. I requested and opted out of my contract. I had decided to independently publish my own books. It was MY own decision to break my contract with a well-established, traditional press.

For those who don't know, I write the Brenda Strange Supernatural Mystery Series. Bella Books published the first three books, THE BURNING OF HER SIN, TANGLED AND DARK, and THE MISSING PAGE, in trade paperback (I now own the rights and have published them as eBooks available in Kindle at Amazon).  The second book, TANGLED AND DARK, was reviewed and featured as a recommended read in the mystery community's highly praised magazine, Mystery Scene. The column was the Small Press Review by Mary V. Welk.  It was an honor to be featured in the Holiday issue #87, 2004 with the honorable Tony Hillerman on the cover. Mary Welk is sadly no longer doing the column. Betty Webb has taken the mantle.

What is my point in all this? I am still writing the Brenda Strange Mystery Series. I am a better writer since TANGLED AND DARK got recommended in Mystery Scene Magazine. What has changed is that I am no longer part of a traditional publisher. I am an indie author. My latest Brenda Strange book, XIMORA, is as good or better a book than TANGLED AND DARK. It was edited by the same editor that did the work for Bella Books. But my own publishing imprint, Black Car Publishing, published it. Mystery Scene Magazine refused to accept my book for consideration to be reviewed because I am an independent author. Their policy is to not accept independently published books. It made me very angry. I couldn't understand why an author is stigmatized by the mere fact that she chose to independently publish instead of give away her rights to a publisher. What difference does it make?  Mystery Scene didn't know how good my  new Brenda Strange book was. How could they.....they refused to even consider it. Just several years ago, I had one of my books recommended and reviewed in their magazine. And now, because I opted to take control of my writing future, my fiction must have gotten worse than before....not even worth a look at? It doesn't make sense and it is unfair. Why adopt such a broad and negative brush toward indie published books?  Maybe if I'd hidden the fact that Black Car Publishing is my own imprint, I'd have gotten the review. Why does it have to come to that?

Time to wake up and realize some very good work is being published independently. Continuing this practice of discrimination smells of prejudice and something worse. I don't want to point my finger only at Mystery Scene Magazine. I love the magazine and sometimes can afford to buy an issue here and there. They aren't the only ones who need to come into the light of the new publishing paradigm.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Throwing Print Books Overboard?

I'm seeing it more and more often. Authors opting to go the eBook route directly, bypassing a print version entirely. Is this practical? Logical? Is it the wave of the future?

Many authors who have been in print either with larger New York houses or even with smaller, independent presses, are taking their out-of-print books and going "Indie,"  publishing those books as eBooks on Amazon or Smashwords. And Barnes and Noble is now going to offer their own indie eBook publishing platform. It looks bright in the eBook world.

But what interests me most are the authors who are skipping print versions of new books and releasing them only as Kindle editions. Mystery author Robert Walker is one of the biggest proponents of this new phenomenon and speaks highly of his success (see Guest Blog below). Another highly rated print author and mystery favorite, J.A. Konrath, has also released original eBooks. But you could argue the point that in the case of both Walker and Konrath, they have had previous success at garnering readers and a fan base because of publication with big NY publishing firms. They have ready readers hungry for their books.

What about the lesser known authors? There are authors writing in the shadows of the more well-known names who are also grand storytellers but may lack as big a fan base or name recognition. Can they sell as many eBooks?  Despite all the noise and fanfare of the eBook revolution, eBooks still account for a smaller market share of books sales. Can an author without an already established brand name or readership do better in the eBook market without the safety net of print books?  Creating an eBook and offering it for sale on Amazon as a Kindle download costs the indie author nothing if you do your own cover and your own conversions. Publishing a print version will cost you for distribution and ISBN purchase.

In my opinion, the eBook market is going to expand. Print books will always be around to snuggle with the eBook versions, of course. But the quandary for authors is whether there is sanity, profit and stability in ditching print versions of original books and hanging their careers solely in the eBook corner. I have been selling more eBooks than print books. For the indie author with a strict or non-existent budget and no lingering love for print books, the answer should be simple.

Will it be simple for most of us?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

GUEST BLOG: Robert W. Walker......Marketing Book Before It's Written? eBook eVolution

by Robert W. Walker

How often over a 30 year career in writing supported by teaching and scraping have I had to “Re-invent” myself? I forget at this juncture, but this year I had to do it again. I did so in what I consider two bold moves… One has to do with going “gaga” for Kindle for good reason, and two taking a page from Julia & Julia, the movie.

In what I consider a bold move, a writer decides to resurrect his “dead books” – all those out of print titles and some gathering dust, never before published, in his desk drawer. In a second bold move, he creates a journal-type blog that will follow his work in progress—which he also intends to take to Kindle, thus bypassing traditional routes to publication (and to be sure with thanks to many hundreds before who self published for the past 30 years!

Furthermore, in this journal-blog. The bold Prof. Walker makes challenging deadline predictions for completing the rough draft and the edited-vetted final: a book in a year, a rough draft in three months. This prediction came in mid-February of this year. You can learn more in depth on how I did it at DIRTY DEEDS – ADVICE.

This idea came about after seeing the film Julia & Julia. I figured why not “Cook Up a Book” and I sent it forth using that as my marketing ploy – Let’s all Cook Up a Book in Julia & Julia styled blog. I went forth to garner followers interested in looking over my shoulder as I worked who could make comments as I worked. I felt confidant as a writer to make it happen once I had decided what the project would be, and it was and is an ambitious one: a retelling of the Titanic story that blows away every other “theory of the crime” for my theory. In a sense if Michael Crichton had rewritten this chunk of history, well he is high up on my most admired authors list. I blogged once a week at outset, then more like every other week as the book progressed, also noting when things were going badly as well as smoothly. Along the way, I took up issues that any author must deal with in crafting a novel such as dialogue, action, setting, etc.

At the same time, I used social networking to let people know about the online Journal for my Titanic efforts. I managed to make my first prediction fairly closely. While I failed to finish the rough draft in three months, I did so in three and a half months—while teaching and dealing with life’s typical obstacles at the same time. Now that I am doing my first major reading and rewrite, there is a lot more for the journal to cover. Finishing in a year appears now to be a deadline that I will come in on early – perhaps as early as November which would be ten months. I may make that prediction soon.

Aside from just carrying on at the online journal, I have targeted all my chat groups, Twitter, Myspace, and Facebook, of course. I have pushed the idea for other authors to try on MurderMustAdvertise and DorothyL, encouraging anyone on these sights to have a look-see. I have also placed it up on Kindle boards and at KindleKorner in quick bursts. I increased the number of blogs that I am a regular on—four now, and on each of these blogs, I give comments
on for the online journal – marketing a book not yet written…now not yet edited…and not yet published or being written on speculation for an agent or editor. I have never turned down a request to guest blog, and I am writing articles routinely for and In this I have an online presence that supports my Julia blog but also supports sales of my Kindle titles.

Early on in the process, I decided to take my predictions and climbing out on the limb much further. I announced that I am writing this work in progress not for anyone anywhere but Kindle Readers. This will go straight to Kindle, by-passing the usual clap-trap of sending out outlines and parcels to agents and editors. I have been doing that for 30 years. Thanks to I am given an attractive alternative, and since my other 44 titles on the Kindle bookshelf are doing extremely well, making me more money in the past month than I have made in paper/traditional publishing in the past three years! – well you might imagine that writing a fifth “Original to Kindle” title is the way for this author to go. If interested in learning more about ebook pubbing with Kindle, go to which is where I started, and if you’re interest is POD with Amazon, check out

I work hard to get discussions going on Facebook where I truly open up and just “be me” asking silly, crazy questions, exploring fun issues as well as making my feelings felt when others bring up issues on FB. I try to build interest in me first before hammering FB friends about my books; often I tease them with a line. Often I bring up a theme in a book, a location. I set up contests and raise interest in the issues being discussed at my various blogs. Social networking is ADVERTISING for my ebooks. I believe the initial sales of my books on Kindle were as a result of all of the above activity that I set in motion along with smart “packaging” of the product(s).

Once you acquire those first, early readers, then news of a good read goes viral—and your readership grows exponentially—far more so than with paper book readers. Still, my early kindle book sales a year ago were terribly unimpressive; some might say dismal. I had little faith it would improve and it did not all summer (I began in June last year), but when I placed up the Instinct Series on the heels of Children of Salem, suddenly sales soared, along with the Edge Series. This tells me that the word and idea behind SERIES works wonders on Kindle as all my earlier titles were stand-alone titles! Then the series followed and whamo!

This is significant as the first to take off was Children of Salem but I billed it as 3 Volumes in one at 160,000 words! A whopping “self-contained” epic SERIES. In fact, I wanted it to have an old traditional book feel to it so I divided it into three volumes. People on Kindle truly responded to this novel—a novel turned down by every agent and editor who’s ever looked at it. Then getting up the eleven-book Instinct Series, which is now out-distancing Children of Salem. Behind but not by much is the four-book Edge Series. I have as a result put up my DECOY Series of four, and my Dean Grant ME Series of four books, a trilogy, a two-some, etc. as Kindle readers appear to absolutely “love” series characters, I feel this is a significant DISCOVERY. And so my response—put up my Abe Stroud horror trilogy and my two-some about the monster behind Spontaneous Human Combustion. Next on horizon is a two-some of YA historical coming of age novels along with Titanic which is in and of itself TWO books in ONE, the 1912 story with Insp. Alastair Ransom, and the 2012 story with Oceanographer David Buckland.

Even if you have only one book to place on Kindle, I suspect you would do better to indicate that it is “just the beginning” of a series wherein this ensemble of characters will play a part in future titles. In point of fact, I also place Chapter ONE of the next book at the back end of the one preceding it, and this I believe helped my sales tremendously as well.

Then too Joe Konrath and I did some cross-pollinating by his placing one of my chapters back of one of his books and visa versa—and whenever, wherever, as buddies will do, we talk each other’s works up on social networks.

This new Kindle era venue has been a huge boon for new writers but even more so than anyone? Yes, the hugely put-upon Midlist Authors – and many of us have been wise in regaining our rights to out of print or DEAD books, and miraculously these are resurrected for an entirely new generation now who do not have to scrounge around in dusty used book stores for them. Plus they are offered up at prices below two and three dollars; they also offer a whole new income for their authors with a better contract or “treaty” than any Indian or workhorse (midlist author) has ever imagined – a 70/30 split in favor of the author!

Do not be fooled, a publisher puts a book up on Kindle for you and prices it at 16.00 or at the same price as the paper book (which is the case with my City Series, controlled by HarperCollins) and I have made NOTHING on these as they are selling nothing, so the price per unit holds it like a stone going nowhere, whereas the new Amazon model of selling in bulk at say 1.99 or 2.99 has earned me enough to give some thought to a vacation this summer. So another thing, 70 percent of 1.99 is far better than say 30 percent of 25.00 or even 7.00 if there are NO sales at the higher price but sales are going through the roof at the lower price. I make far more on the Amazon model than I do the HarperCollins model.

For the likes of Joe Konrath, Rob Walker, and many more whose series have been cut by our publishers, it is wonderful to be discovered anew by young and old thanks to the advent of the Kindle reader. And now I am planning a 12th Instinct title, a 5th Edge title etc. despite their being “dead series” to NYC’s Penguin Publishers.

Furthermore, my control and freedom is a wonderful new sense given the author too. In fact, a dream and a miracle come true for yours truly as no publisher could ever keep up with my output anyway, so I always dreamed of lottery winnings so I could afford to become my own publisher. The Kindle has given me my dream and the times they are miraculous as a result for on Kindle I am the publisher, producer, PR and marketing rep, ultimately editor, copy guy, all of it and it feels great to be in charge. It is a wonderful boon, and nothing succeeds like success, and since I am a happy camper, I have more positive vibes running through me and far more motivation and energy to pursue all the steps I need to take in terms of marketing, PR, social networking, etc. necessary to keep the train on the tracks.

One more thing is the “dreaded” bottom line as Kindle allows you to see your bottom line at any time of day, any day – no waiting months to know sales results & no returns beyond a handful electronically handled. Now for more on what I am doing Google me on Google, and also Google: Write Aide a blogspot wherein I give advice. Another presence is where I blogger-mouth every other Saturday. Another is my staple, each Friday at

Yes you can generate buzz for a novel not yet published, and you can start at inception, before birth! Hand out those cigars! Think of it: a blog that WARNS people of your impending opus.

Finally, with regard to writing “Original to Kindle” titles it cost you nothing to set a novel down on the virtual shelf. Should you do this with your work in progress? I will admit, writing novels has become somewhat second nature after doing some 50-odd novels, but part of the purpose of the blog is to demonstrate just how many ways I mess up and pick myself up and go on in the face of adversity and life in general and STILL craft the best novel I can create. My best advice to get a winner on Kindle pay close, close attention to your title, cove art, and description. All three MUST capture the imagination and enrapture a reader in those early moments where his or her eyes are on your book.

Write the most important short story you will ever write – the story about your story. Be sure to put in as many of the journalistic 5 Ws as you can along with character and place names. Be specific and brief at once. Write what your “dream” of what should be on the backflap copy of your book. Get professional help to edit your description (no errors!) as you must get professional help to edit the book itself as I do. Get a pro to do your cover art as well. I rely on my son, a pro..

Check out Killer Instinct (for ME fans) and Children of Salem (for HYstery-Romance-Mystery fans). Below is an EXAMPLE of a description I wrote for my second highest selling ebook:

Children of Salem

An eccumenical spy, Jere Wakely returns to Salem Village Parish where it has become obvious to church athorities that this parish is in serious trouble. Wakely works for Increase Mahter. But he is reluctant for many reasons, not the least being that his heart is broken and returning to his boyhood home means he will inevitably run into Serena Nurse

Jere assumes that Serena is by now married with children. He had left her without saying goodbye to go off and make something of himself. He has no their love would be rekindled, but it parallels a greater fire—one of terror amid the infamous Salem Witch Trials. A witch hunt in this important election year of 1692 is backdrop to a romance filled with intrigue and mystery; the history is accurate, and the truth is disturbing yet fascinating.

Man, I sure hope I didn’t misspell ecumenical in the descript….

Hey all, major thanks, and do find me on facebook and twitter and elsewhere! And do leave a comment here, please!

Rob Walker

Monday, May 24, 2010

THE MISSING PAGE Gets An eBook And A Brand New Cover

This June, Black Car Publishing will be releasing THE MISSING PAGE, the third Brenda Strange Supernatural Mystery Series book, as a Kindle download eBook. That will make the complete series currently published, available in eBook format. THE MISSING PAGE will also be available in ePUB and PDF format as are the other books in the series.

What I'm asking all visitors is to respond to a little poll. This is the cover for the eBook edition of the book. What do you think of the cover? Does it work for you?  I happen to think it's a smashing cover and brings the gist of the book chillingly to life. I look forward to all your comments, pro or con.

Now is your chance to read the entire Brenda Strange series on your eBook reader if you haven't had the chance to get them in trade paperback. All the Brenda Strange Black Car Publishing eBooks are moderately priced and available at or the Lulu Marketplace.

Make sure to check out my web site at: or the official Black Car Publishing web site at: You'll be able to buy all the books at the BCP web site.

I look forward to your input on the new eBook cover for THE MISSING PAGE. And don't forget to subscribe or become a follower to The Henderson Files. It's the easiest way to keep up when there is a new post so you don't have to remember to check back. We remind you.

Thank you for your support.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

It's About Time....eBook Time!

I never stopped to think about how much time had gone by since I posted here. January, apparently. While I won't be bold enough to promise I'll be more timely, I can at least attempt to post something more frequently, just not regularly.

The big news from me and for me is eBooks. My eBook editions have been outselling my trade paperbacks. I think that isn't real news for most writers in this brave new publishing kingdom. After dipping the toes in the publishing waters in years past, the eBook is here, in your face and here to stay, I would venture to say.

All my books released via my publishing imprint, Black Car Publishing, are all simultaneously available as eBooks as well, in Kindle on Amazon and in ePUB and other formats through the Lulu Marketplace. I'm also in the process of making all my previous Brenda Strange books published by Bella Books available as eBooks. I got my rights back to the first three Brenda Strange Supernatural Mystery books and already released the first book in the series, THE BURNING OF HER SIN, as an eBook with a brand new cover. The brand new and fourth Brenda Strange book, XIMORA, has been available in Kindle and ePUB since October. The third book in the series, THE MISSING PAGE, will be available in June or July, completing all the Brenda Strange available in several eBook formats and on Amazon.

And I want to take this opportunity to announce that the second book in the series, TANGLED AND DARK, is now available as an eBook. For now, the only format is ePUB, PDF and other formats, but the Amazon Kindle is coming soon. This eBook edition also sports a brand new cover for this edition.

But this posting isn't just BSP. Authors, how are your eBooks selling? I keep hearing from more and more indie authors that their eBooks are outselling their paper books. Is this the wave of the future? Will you, the author, consider releasing only eBooks in the future? Does that somewhat frighten you, shock you or excite you?

Readers, is the eBook explosion and all the cool ads Amazon is running on TV for their Kindle edging even closer to investing in a Kindle? How about the amazing iPad? Is that the item that will bring you into eBooks? Do you plan on continuing to enjoy both paper books and eBooks? What about pricing? Authors and publishers have been haggling about pricing, but for the indie author, we can damn well do whatever we want with our eBooks. We can choose the price we want without having to worry about a publisher sticking their finger in your pie or making the decision for you. So, how are choosing to price your eBooks? On the low end to increase sales or high end to get the most profit? Readers, do you have a perceived worth for an eBook and how much you are willing to pay for it?

I enjoy hearing from you and joining a lively conversation.

Buy my eBooks at these online locations:

Kindle at Amazon: XIMORA:

Kindle at Amazon: THE BURNING OF HER SIN:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Senior Moments....Writing and Publishing After 60

Your brain cells begin to deteriorate as you age. You lose coordination and memory. Thought processes begin to slow. We've all heard those dire predictions of what it's going to be like in our "golden years." But doctors aren't really sure what actually happens to our brain as we age. All they've been able to agree on is to disagree. I guess we'll just have to wait and experience it for ourselves, right?

There have been several articles detailing the trials and tribulations of writing if you're an older author. Many of the articles try to remain positive but ultimately must offer reality based advice. If you're sixty-plus and already in the publishing loop, you will have certain advantages....somewhat. But what about those who are late starters and have started writing well into their fifties and maybe even sixties. What are your chances of finishing your manuscript and getting it published? Is there age discrimination among publishers? Yes....and no.

Publishers view authors as investments. They want the most production and longevity from their investment. It isn't hard to see why agents and publishers will skip over a fifty-eight year old novice over a twenty-eight year old with a long life ahead of making money for the publisher. Well, if you're famous, age isn't a barrier, but then, if you're famous, you won't be reading this blog. And publishers want books on a regular basis from their authors. How many books will a sixty year old have in her? How long does it take for a senior to complete a book? Is it true that the brain slows down, hence your writing abilities and speed? If you're a senior author, do you find it more difficult to put your thoughts to paper in an easy manner? Are complex plots too complicated? Does your mind wander to everything but your writing?

Please don't think I'm talking about dementia or worse. I'm asking a serious question that seniors should face as they age but want to continue writing. I know I have slowed down. I realize that each and every one of us will age differently. Some of us will be struck with diseases that might take a bit out of us while others may remain healthier. That will definitely affect your writing. But let's talk about what awaits the senior author once they have a book finished.

The reality is that the senior author will have a much bleaker chance of landing an agent or a publisher if they have never published before. Certainly, there are smaller publishers that will be open to senior authors. Some won't care at all about the age of the author. Still, it is tough out in the publishing business even for younger authors. How up are you, if you're sixty and pushing a manuscript, to wait a year, two years or more for an agent? And are you willing to wait another year or two or more for publication? If you're in your sixties, you might be close to seventy by the time you see print.

Is independent publishing more attractive to the senior author? If you're a late-blooming author or an author who has published before but has since been out-of-print or been dropped by your publisher, does the thought of independently publishing your work appeal to you?

If you'd like to share your thoughts, I welcome other opinions and discussion.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Self Publishing Review Site is Back Online

This is a great place to hang out if you are an independent publisher. They just re-lauched and it looks great.