News and Notices from the Writing Trenches # 144…

[This newsletter contains newsy items for readers, writers, and anyone interested in the publishing business. Enjoy!]

Summer reading. Hopefully the weather is improving where you are. Here in NJ we’ve had one heat wave (three days over 90), but otherwise it’s looked a lot like November or March—dreary and cold. I know other places in the U.S. have had it worse. Hopefully things will settle down, and we can all enjoy the good ol’ summertime.

Whether sitting on a beach in the sun or near a nighttime roaring fire by a mountain lake, books are entertainment that don’t require home electricity. OK, you might have to use a charger in your car or boat if you want to read ebooks on your Kindle, but print books don’t even require that and are ideal wherever cars and boats can’t go.

And books can provide you with new and fresh entertainment instead of summer TV reruns or watching those movie DVDs you’ve seen already. And for the kids who will be home from school, get them some children’s or young adults’ books to keep them occupied, not new computer games.

Rembrandt’s Angel. My new novel has been published by Penmore Press and is now generally available in ebook and print book formats. The ebook is available on Amazon as well as Smashwords and all its associated retailers (B&N, Kobo, and Apple, for example). The print book is available at Amazon, B&N, and your local bookstore through Ingram (if they don’t have it, ask for it). Here’s a short summary:

To what lengths would you go to recover a stolen masterpiece? Scotland Yard’s Arts and Antiques Inspector Esther Brookstone goes the extra mile. She and paramour/sidekick Bastiann van Coevorden, an Interpol agent, set out to outwit the dealers of stolen art and recover “An Angel with Titus’ Features,” a Rembrandt painting stolen by the Nazis in World War Two. Their efforts lead to much more, as they uncover an international conspiracy that threatens Europe. During their dangerous adventures, their relationship solidifies and becomes a full-blown romance.

Quotes. Did you know George Bernard Shaw is Irish? One of his quotes begins every part of Rembrandt’s Angel. I use quotes infrequently, but this novel has quite a few—OK, I like Shaw. His quotes say a lot about life in general, and some say something pithy about art. Brainy Quotes is a source for quotes if you’re an author but be prepared: you will have to spend some time matching the quotes with your prose. I also used them in The Midas Bomb; one reviewer loved them there.

The Collector. #5 in the “Detectives Chen and Castilblanco Series” is now on sale at Smashwords; use the coupon code indicated when you check out. Esther Brookstone, the main character of Rembrandt’s Angel, makes her first appearance here. She’s been after me to have her very own novel. Now she has it. So do you!

Bundles. They seem to be more common now. A bundle is defined as two or more novels in just one book. I’m considering bundling my two trilogies, the “Clones and Mutants Trilogy” and the “Chaos Chronicles Trilogy.” I’m also planning to make a second edition of Survivors of the Chaos, the first novel in the latter trilogy, so that makes some sense.

Print editions. Most of my books are ebooks, but I have six print versions: Rembrandt’s Angel (Penmore Press), The Midas Bomb (Carrick Publishing), Survivors of the Chaos (Infinity), Soldiers of God (Infinity), and Full Medical (Xlibris). The last two have ebook second editions, so they would be natural candidates for new print editions.

I know many readers prefer print versions. I respect that. I need to work on providing print versions for all my old books. I promise to have both ebook and print versions for all new ones.

Audiobooks… are another question. As commutes become longer and commuters spend more time in traffic jams, audiobooks can offer some entertainment for those long hours at the wheel. But I hesitate to offer them for the following reasons: cost and safety. The cost is significant, both to author and “readers.” I’d have to employ a professional reader who would probably cost more than all the other production costs combined, for example, and readers would have to cough up something like $30 per audiobook. Safety is important because I believe any distraction while you’re driving puts you in danger, although texting while driving is far worse than listening to an audiobook. Let’s all keep the roads safe.


In libris libertas…


Comments are closed.