Category: Indie Authors
Housekeeping: Successful Authors, Post Times and Cheap Reads 1 comment

Electronic Book Publishing Companies
People love a success story. We cheer when someone does well; wish that all who are working toward noble goals achieve their dreams; and long for the same for ourselves and family.
Electronic books have given the opportunity for success to many authors who might not otherwise catch the eye of traditional publishers. An exciting success story has been the rise of Amanda Hocking, a 26-year-old indie author who has earned over $1 million.
She caught the eye of the traditional publisher and has signed a four-book deal with a traditional publisher. Many of you purchased Hocking’s books and helped her to success and recognition.
One of our readers recently sent a note about another indie author who became well-known through the e-book experience. Here are excerpts from her note:

One of the first books I starting reading and fell in love with was from an indie. I am one of those people who can look past some spelling, format, grammar issues to focus on a good story and loved the idea of getting cheaper prices and finding gems in the rough so to speak. This book I started reading was book one of a planned five-book series. Book one and book two were out with a third book out soon. . . I talked several people into buying it and using Kindle for PC if they didn’t have a Kindle just to get people to try [the author] out.

This author became quite famous and approached publishers to negotiate the sale of the remaining books in the series. To make a long story short, our reader still doesn’t have book three on her Kindle because the author sold her book to Sterling Publishing, a wholly-owned publishing company of Barnes and Noble. At this time B&N is not producing a Kindle version. Our reader has the option of buying the book in hardcover or buying the book for a nook (which she doesn’t own) or a nook application. The original two books in the series have been pulled from the Kindle Store, too.
Are we happy to see this author succeed? At best, we have mixed emotions. I am happy that the consumers have chosen the authors who will rise to the top. Our reader feels betrayed in that some of the very people who helped this woman succeed now must buy her books in a different format or through a different company to continue reading the series. We are probably all saddened that the e-book publishing companies are not making books available to all e-readers.

Amazon has several publishing companies – AmazonEncore, Amazon Crossing, and the recently announced Montlake for romance titles. I checked a few random titles from these publishing companies and the books were not available for the Nook.

Yes, we love a success story. We also want to have access to the books we want in the format we prefer. Print books, no matter who published them, were available to all to consume without expense beyond the book. Times are changing . . . . and these are the growing pains of emerging technologies and content. Hold on for the ride!
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Speaking of Times Changing
Did you notice that we have re-arranged the posting schedule? One more post was added to our daily schedule for a total of at least eight posts every day of great cheap reads. You just aren’t going to find anything like us anywhere else on the web. Our post times are all Central US time (Chicago) with the first one at 6:00am and new post every two hours through 8:00pm. We’ll post free books that meet our standards as we learn about them.
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A Note for the Weekend
The United States will celebrate Memorial Day this weekend – the unofficial start of summer. Our nation has been battered by natural disasters, seemingly one after another. We are praying for the many people across our nation who have lost family, friends, homes, possessions, health and security. May your strength and hope be restored.
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Books by the Millionaire Author
Amanda Hocking still has many of her books available for 99 cents for the first book in the series and $2.99 for the next books in the series. Below are some of her most popular books, all great, cheap reads. The Trylle Trilogy is a young adult paranormal romance with mild language and mild sexual situations recommended for ages thirteen and up.

Switched (Trylle Trilogy, Book 1): (99 cents) When Wendy Everly was six years old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn’t until eleven years later that Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed – a world both beautiful and frightening, and Wendy’s not sure she wants to be a part of it.
Torn (Trylle Trilogy, Book 2): ($2.99) Wendy thought she finally understood who she was and what she wanted, but everything changes when the rival Vittra come after her. She’s caught between two worlds, torn between love and duty, and she must decide what life she is going to lead.
Ascend (Trylle Trilogy, #3) : ($2.99) With a war looming on the horizon, Wendy’s fate seems sealed. But everything she sacrificed might be in vain if she can’t save the ones she loves. Her whole life has been leading up to this, and it’s all coming to an end.

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Your Top Four Reads 2010: Renee 4 comments

Renee has had her Kindle since May 2009 and has found it to be an amazing way to expose herself to a whole new world of reading that she probably never would have discovered otherwise.
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She’s a mom to 3 wonderful girls so she really values a great book! Renee is from Chicago and as that part of the country has only 2 seasons (winter and construction), the weather really dictates her reading time if the girls don’t. :)
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When Renee learned that her list had been chosen for the site, she wrote: I am so excited that my choices will be posted! I truly love all 4 of those books and hope that other people have the opportunity to discover them. I’d love to share my top four list with anyone who is willing to listen. :)
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Waiting for Spring by R.J. Keller ($2.99): I have read it 3 times and begged for -and received – a physical copy for Christmas.
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No Good Deed by Mary McDonald ($2.99).
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Not What She Seems by Victorine Lieske ($0.99)
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Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen ($5.00)

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2010 Top Four Reads: Karen Cantwell 4 comments

Karen Cantwell is a mother, wife, writer and movie lover who also enjoys the fine art of laughter — not unlike the feisty, Barbara Marr in her humorous mystery, Take the Monkeys and Run.
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It was hard to limit myself to four, so I decided to go with my fave four that were strong in character, since that’s what I really love in a good book.
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Sam McRae is a tough, headstrong female lawyer that gets in almost over her head in this action-oriented mystery that deals with murder, identity theft and mob activities. Wry, witty dialogue combined with a well-drawn plot kept me moving quickly through this page-turning suspense novel and I was pleasantly surprised by a ‘gotcha’ twist that I never saw coming. You can buy this book (and see if you can see the twist coming!) for only 99 cents today.
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Executive Lunch by Maria Schneider, humorous mystery: I love it when a book can make me laugh out loud and keep me interested in where the story is going at the same time. That’s why Executive Lunch is high on my list of favorite reads for 2010. Sedona O’Hala is a reluctant player in a scheme to uncover some big time business theft. Add to that, her uncanny knack for being in the wrong place at the right time and a tendency toward klutziness, and what you have is a rollicking good time from Chapter One to the end. You can enjoy a good laugh, too, for only $1.99 when you buy this book today.
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We Interrupt This Date by L.C. Evans, humorous romance/chick lit: Divorcee Susan Caraway has problems, and they all come in the form of family members who can’t seem to take care of themselves. And, well . . . that gets in the way when a certain man comes along. She’d like him to be more than friends, but does she have the time? I don’t even know where to start raving about We Interrupt This Date — fun characters, fun story, great writing, sweet romantic tension that keeps you rooting for a happy ending. This book has it all. And did I mention fun characters? You can purchase We Interrupt This Date for only 99 cents today.
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Homesong by Misha Crews, romance/family saga: While romance is not on my list of favorite genres generally, this is one of my favorite reads in 2010, because of the depth of the story and the range of characters drawn by author Misha Crews. Kate Doyle and Reed Fitzgerald are young lovers from a small town, torn apart by events beyond their control and the lies of others. Told through a saga that spans generations, it is no wonder that this novel was a finalist for the Bronte Prize in Romantic Fiction. Today Homesong is selling for $4.99.

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2010 Top Four Reads – Jim Chambers 1 comment

Jim Chambers spent 40 years designing highways in Georgia. He was an avid scuba diver for twenty-two years, and his underwater photography has been featured in National Geographic and Popular Photography. Always an avid reader, Jim is now trying his hand at writing. His first book is Recollections: A Baby Boomer’s Memories of the Fabulous Fifties . Jim lives with his wife Deborah in Tucker, Georgia.
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Jim loves reading Kindle books. Here are four of his favorites:
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A marvelous memoir by Terry Gelormino Silver about growing up in three orphanages – two of them run by a very strict order of nuns – during the 1930s. Think “Oliver Twist” meets “Angela’s Ashes,” and you’ve got it. Not a tear-jerker, however, the book is surprisingly upbeat. You can purchase Nunzilla Was My Mother and My Stepmother Was a Witch for only 99 cents today.
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Wet Desert, a thriller by Gary Hansen: This is one of the most gripping and tension-filled books I’ve ever read. Imagine a terrorist blowing up the Glen Canyon dam, setting loose a huge wall of water pouring through the narrow valleys of the Colorado River with horrifying consequences. What a thriller movie “Wet Desert” would make! You can purchase this thriller for only 99 cents.
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We Interrupt This Date, humor and romance by L.C. Evans: Ms. Evans writes brilliantly of a fictional family so dysfunctional that it’s a full-time job by one overburdened member of the family to keep them all from self-destructing. Very very funny, but most readers will recognize at least one or two members of their own family. If you haven’t purchased this book yet, you can today for $2.99.
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Radium Halos, historical fiction by Shelley Stout: A beautiful and poignant novel about the ladies who painted radium dials on watches and clocks many years ago before the hazards of radiation were known. I loved this book; I think it’s a classic that will be read for years to come. This is story telling at its best. This novel is available today for $2.99.

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Book Review: What Nathan Wants 0 comments

Several weeks ago I read What Nathan Wants, written by Ruth Ann Nordin, an independent author. I would like to say that Nathan doesn’t fit the stereotypical male of what he wants, he expects to get. I would like to say that, but I can’t. He’s a guy who operates under the mantra, “If I want it, it’s mine.”
Nathan Rudolf is a wealthy travel agency owner in Omaha, Nebraska, who brings his business decision skills into play when it comes to whom to marry and have a family. The heroine, Amy Watson, is a woman who is content to keep her world on an even keel. She isn’t looking for a relationship, a husband, or a family.

Nathan uses an old-fashioned ploy, plus enlisting her family and friends, to force Amy out of her world. In response, Amy takes a strong stand for herself to help Nathan realize that marriage isn’t a business.
A contemporary romance with a familiar plot line, What Nathan Wants is a quick read that moves at a good pace. Overall, the book is a pleasurable read. The characters are believable and likable, except for the villainess, but who ever likes her? The ending chapters are happily-ever-after, but include real life, too.
The author self-describes the book as rated R. Don’t let that stop you from reading this book. The few scenes of married intimacy can easily be skipped by clicking NEXT PAGE a couple of times. Today you can purchase What Nathan Wants for $2.39.
Click here to purchase What Nathan Wants

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Housekeeping/e-Ramble – What I’ve learned about independent authors 6 comments

We are preparing for our month-long event beginning Wednesday, September 1. Each day in September, the spotlight will shine on an independent author and their books, as well as provide links to their websites, blogs, and Amazon author pages. This daily post, above and beyond our normal 5-a-day posts, will appear each day at 8:00am Central (Chicago) time.

I must give a huge shout out to Maria Schneider, independent author extraordinaire. Way back when the kindlecheapreads dailycheapreads website was just a newborn, Maria sent a comment introducing herself and telling us about her books available through Kindle. In the following weeks, we received comments from other independent authors.  Those e-mails prompted the idea of a month-long indie spotlight.

Not knowing where to start, I turned to Maria, asking if she knew other indies who might work with us to feature their books during the event. Maria immediately responded, set about to help us, and has been invaluable in her support. Maria has gone from the faceless author who sent a note on the very first day to a friend.

Which brings me to the purpose of this post, what I learned about indie authors. Simply put: the authors that I have worked with through this event have been down-to-earth men and women, happy to participate, eager to provide what I requested, encouraging, and just plain friendly.

Chatter on the discussion boards and the news has made us aware of big-name authors and their dislike and disdain for electronic readers. The agency model that the majority of large publishing houses has adopted to price e-books has maddened many customers and saddened those who just don’t have the budget to pay the prices.

Indie authors are the antidote. They are fresh voices, not confined by someone’s idea of what the public wants to read. Their works are reasonably priced making them available to anyone who has a computer (Kindle for PC). These folks  might live in your neighborhood; work at a business you frequent; or be the parent of one of your child’s classmates. Indies are writing books, making those books available through new avenues, and loving life.

Let’s support their efforts and buy an indie book or two to read in September. Maria will be one of our featured authors in September, but you might want to check out Catch an Honest Thief by Maria. Priced at $2.99, it’s a fun read for the coming Labor Day holiday weekend in the United States.

An Indiana Jones-style caper across the desert of New Mexico; high-tech gadgets, a mystery and a romance. Alexia is trying to protect the crystals that power the city of Haven. Going undercover and stealing the crystals seemed like a great idea–until a real thief showed up.

Bait and switch is suddenly cat and mouse–but who is the real thief? And why is the new security chief spending so much time looking into her background? Confessing her secret plans to protect the crystals might help the security chief narrow in on the real culprit, but it would cost Alexia her job, her freedom, and her status. Of course, if she keeps standing in the way of the real thief, it will cost her a whole lot more.
Click here to purchase Catch an Honest Thief

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