New life to older books

My current bestseller on Kindle is a good example of how backlist books get new life as e-books.

"End Run," first of two mysteries featuring Albuquerque sportswriter Drew Gavin, came out in 2000. It's still available in hardcover/paperback, but sales had slowed to a trickle by 2011. Same with the sequel, "Cheap Shot," which was published only in hardcover by Intrigue Press.

But those two books are leading the pack this month on Kindle. "End Run" has sold a couple more copies than "Cheap Shot." Coming in third so far in May is my first novel, 1994's "Lonely Street," which was second to "Cheap Shot" in April.

I've got my entire backlist up on Kindle and Smashwords, along with several humor books and "Firepower," a thriller that was an e-book original. Another new novel is coming soon!


You're doing it wrong

If you're in the middle of a high-speed chase and you're driving a stolen truck, it probably won't help to throw your prosthetic leg at the pursuing officers.

A man in Shasta County, CA, tried that very thing and, as you can read here, the cops still caught him after he ran over several spike bars and crashed the truck.

You can insert your own joke about how he'll do in court.


You're doing it wrong

Today's tip for aspiring criminals: After you've successfully knocked over a convenience store, it's a bad idea to go back to that same store for cigarettes the next day.

As reported here, an 18-year-old man in Florida forgot this important lesson, and was promptly arrested after the store clerk recognized him from the robbery the night before. The robber had worn a mask, but had let it slip and the clerk had seen his face.

Extra weird: The robber stole $500 and several packs of Newports. So why was he buying more cigarettes the next day? A nice, non-smoking jail may save this young man from himself.


E-book sales accelerate

My plunge into e-books is showing signs of success. April sales on Kindle and Smashwords were double those in March, which had been up 50 percent over February.

Much of that increase comes from having more titles available, but the rate of sales is growing as well. It helps that I've been able to price novels at $2.99 and shorter work for 99 cents.

As reported earlier, over the past few months, I've secured the electronic rights to my entire backlist (with one exception), and have published all the books via Kindle and Smashwords. (The exception: My novel "Boost" was put out by the publisher as a $9.99 e-book. I have no control over that.)

My bestseller for April was "Cheap Shot," the second book featuring sportswriter Drew Gavin, who was introduced in "End Run." I think "Cheap Shot" is selling well because it was never issued in paperback. It's a good novel, and I'm glad people are finally getting a chance to read it.

Bestselling 99-cent work was my novella "Sanity Clause," a funny Bubba Mabry tale that's set in a mall at Christmas.

You can see all of my e-books via Kindle here and via Smashwords here. Smashwords also distributes my work for Nook, Kobo, etc., so you should have no problem finding them for your favorite platform.

And, of course, most of my books are still available in printed form. Order them from your local bookseller!