9.17.2011

How I published 3 books in 3 months

My E-book Empire is complete -- for now -- as I've published LOST VEGAS, my latest crime novel, on Kindle and Smashwords.

LOST VEGAS is the story of a casino heist, but with a twist: The casino owner hires the robbers to rip off his establishment. Just when it looks as if he might get away with it, another small-town casino owner and his giant Samoan sidekick jump into the fray. LOST VEGAS is an action-packed thriller with lots of humor mixed in, and I think you'll love it. Only $2.99!

LOST VEGAS is the third original novel I've self-published this summer. Here's how that happened:

My agent had been shopping my manuscripts around New York the past few years, but having no luck in the ever-shrinking market. I optimistically kept writing away, and developed a backlog of unpublished material.

A year ago, I dipped my toe in the e-book waters by publishing a quirky hitman thriller called FIREPOWER. It was well-received, and the process taught me how to load books to Kindle and Smashwords. Soon, I secured the rights to my backlist and re-published all my earlier work as e-books.

This summer, I got tired of waiting on New York, and I asked my agent to reel in the submissions on LOST VEGAS as well as my novels THE BIG WINK and CALABAMA. While Kelly and I have enjoyed our foggy summer in Santa Cruz, we've also been busy publishing these books -- I did the proofing/formatting, and she did the cover art.

Self-publishing allows us to get books to market quickly (THE BIG WINK, with its medical marijuana storyline, is particularly timely), and to charge less for them. These novels are only $2.99. From each purchase, I earn about the same as I'd make on a $24 hardcover. And no trees died.

I haven't given up on New York publishing altogether, though my faith has been shaken. My agent is currently shopping around my latest manuscript, A BOX OF PANDORAS, and I hope some publisher picks it up. But if that doesn't happen, I'll happily publish it myself.

7 comments:

Black Heart Magazine said...

Nice work! I will definitely have to check out your books. I find that $2.99 is a magical price. It's not too expensive, but not too cheap, and if you sell enough copies you can make a decent living at it, right? I always shake my head when I see the "big guys" pricing ebooks at $9.99. Frankly, I get those for free at the library.

Sharon said...

I'm impressed that you even have an agent.

Pat Browning said...

You're putting them up faster than I can read them but full speed ahead! LOST VEGAS is on my list to download. Sounds great. And good luck in New Mexico.
Pat Browning

David J. Montgomery said...

I've always enjoyed your books and think I'll have to give the new one a try.

Joe Badal said...

This may be the path for all authors. My compliments on your ebook success. I can't wait to read Lost Vegas.

Steve Brewer said...

Thanks, all!

IT (aka Ivan Toblog) said...

Gee, maybe someday you'll get a writeup, like Ray Anderson in The Economist, provided you continue to be an environmental guardian.