Tag Archives: Indie Publishing

Back In Print At A Brick-and-Mortar Bookstore

I just wanted to share this with everyone. Last night, we went to the Southern Festival of Books reveal party. This is where they announce the authors who will be appearing at the SFB in October…

The event was held at the wonderful Parnassus Books in Nashville, and while there, I saw the print edition of Dead Folks’ Blues.

It’s the first time I’ve seen a real print edition of one of my books in a real bookstore in ages and, brother, did it feel good…

Just had to share it.

 

 

More Reality On The Writing Life…

Thirty years ago, I sold my first novel, Murphy’s Fault. It sold in late 1988, but it didn’t come out until 1990. I remember being so thrilled when Mill’s Bookstore (a long-gone local independent) agreed to give me a book signing.

I sent out something like a hundred invitations (by snailmail, no less) and dozens of phone calls. Invited every friend, every family member… I was one of the founding members of the Tennessee Screenwriting Association, so everybody in that group got an invite.

The signing was on a Sunday afternoon. I was terrified. What if nobody showed up?

When I got there, I was thrilled. There was already a crowd forming. The staffers at Mills (one of whom, Michael Sims, would go on to become one of my closest pals and a writer whose success far eclipsed mine) were already bringing out more folding chairs. My parents, my brother and sister-in-law, my grandmother all came…

It was an amazing day. Mills had optimistically way over-ordered, but every one of the 130+ copies they had on hand were snapped up. By the time the signing was over, Michael and Ron Watson were reaching into the front windows to pull out display copies for people.

I was drained, exhausted, spent, but it was one of the best days of my life…

And I thought “Man, I got this nailed… I am on my way now.”

Then reality hit. I’ve never had a signing like that again, to this day. Nowhere near it…

In the 90s, when I was really working this business, I went  on a bunch of book tours, almost all self-financed. Most of those signings were like the one that Sharyn McCrumb and I did at a Little Professor Bookstore in Birmingham, where we sat next to each other at the front of the store during a weekday lunch hour.

Most of the people who came in thought we worked there. I remember someone asking me what the special of the day was in the cafe…

So when I read Tom McAllister’s article today on a website I’ve just discovered called TheMillions.com , it really put me in mind of those early days. And how much I thought the world would beat a path to my door because I’d written a freakin’ book…

Every writer needs to read this. Take a look:

https://bit.ly/2LgQ8ia

Why Everyone Should Consider Going Indie!

Few industries have changed in the past decade more than the publishing industry. There are some real, viable alternatives to spending your entire career begging for book contracts from mainstream publishers. If you’re lucky enough to get a contract, then you’ll turn to begging for marketing, attention, the next contract…

Not necessary anymore, as this article from Ryan Doughan demonstrates. Great job Ryan.  Check it out: http://bit.ly/2wx3bFh

 

SEMWA Online Interview/Podcast Is Now Available!

On Thursday, June 1st, I had a new adventure. I was the guest of a monthly gathering of the Southeast Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America. Only it wasn’t an in-person meeting. We all checked into a website and it was all done over that new-fangled Internet thingy.

My thanks to the wonderful Beth Terrell for putting it together and my thanks to SEMWA for letting me put a link up so everyone can listen. It was a fun time and let’s all go support MWA!

https://recordings.join.me/ZKyd_G5G-0eXPFe4FvHu-w

On The Beauty of Indie Publishing…

I’ve been very quiet on the blog and news front lately, but only because I’ve been so busy on other fronts. The fourth, fifth, and sixth Harry James Denton novels are in the publication pipeline. The fourth, Chain Of Fools, is ready to go. The fifth, Murder Manual, is with the copy editor, and I’m putting together the files for Dirty Money.

My wonderful book cover designer, Dawn Charles at BookGraphics.net, is working on the covers as we speak.

And here’s the beauty of the independent publishing movement–twenty years or so ago, when the Harry James Denton novels were originally published by Ballantine Books, I lost two different battles over titles. My editor didn’t like my original title for the fourth novel, so he vetoed it and called the book Chain Of Fools. I think he was trying to maintain some kind of music riff after Dead Folks’ Blues and Torch Town Boogie.

But when I hear that title, all I can think of is the Aretha Franklin hit from 1968. In fact, if you Google Chain Of Fools, that’s what you get: All Aretha/All The Time…

So since I’m now the publisher as well as the author, I’m reverting back to the original title for that novel, Nobody’s Chain Lays Straight.

Hope everyone likes it. Same with the title to the fifth novel, Murder Manual. The original title for that one was Life’s Little Murder Manual.

So that’s what it’s going back to.

Enjoy…

Self-Publishing Preview For 2016

I’ve been a little quiet on the blog lately, but mostly because I’ve started a Twitter account and am really devoting time to making my FB page worth reading. I’m constantly finding new industry articles and news that I think you’ll find interesting, so check it all out.

In the meantime, Publishers Weekly has just published a really good article on the indie press publishing prospects for 2016. It remains an exciting new world out there, one with great potential and great challenges.

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/authors/pw-select/article/69156-self-publishing-preview-2016.html

Well worth reading…