E-book bargains build audiences

Authors scrambling to get on top of the fast-growing e-book market try to lure readers by offering books for free or for 99 cents. The hope, of course, is that readers will get hooked and buy more of the author's work.

This bargain baiting is old hat in marketing, but it's new to authors who've never before had such control over their own pricing.

I can't bring myself to toss any of my work out there for free, but I did mark down my humor book TROPHY HUSBAND to 99 cents. It was getting lost in the shuffle on my ever-growing backlist. We'll see if a price adjustment stirs more sales.

TROPHY HUSBAND was originally published in hardcover by a university press. It's a collection of my Home Front newspaper columns, revamped into what appears to be a self-help book for work-at-home dads. It's no help at all, of course, but it is pretty damn funny.

Sales remain brisk for CALABAMA, my new crime novel, which debuted on June 15. I've done lots of social media promotion and Internet guest appearances for the book over the past few weeks, and will be doing more. On Monday, I'm scheduled to be the guest interview on Allan Guthrie's Criminal-E blog.

A hillbilly noir set in the wilds of far Northern California, CALABAMA has gotten two Amazon customer reviews so far. Both five stars! Would love to see more reviews as more of you get a chance to visit CALABAMA.

CALABAMA, my 18th crime novel, is available as an e-book for only $2.99.


CALABAMA now available!

My new crime novel, CALABAMA, hit the Kindle and Smashwords bookstores today!

CALABAMA has an "official" pub date of June 15, and it may be a few days before it's available on Nook and some of the other e-book platforms. But it's already up on Kindle and Smashwords. Only $2.99.

(Remember: You don't need a Kindle to enjoy e-books. The Kindle app is free for computers and most smartphones. It downloads in seconds.)

CALABAMA is the story of Eric Newlin, a slacker whose life is in a rut in Redding, California. Sometimes, a rut is the safest place to be. When Eric pushes against the bounds of day-to-day life, he quickly loses everything. He falls so far that a kidnapping scheme starts to sound like a reasonable way to make the money he needs to escape Calabama.

Award-winning author Bill Fitzhugh says, "CALABAMA is Steve Brewer at his absolute best."

Please check out my new novel, and tell all your friends!


Opening lines with bite

Never argue with a man whose tattoos outnumber his teeth.

One of my Rules for Successful Living, and also the opening line of my new crime novel, CALABAMA. Eric Newlin, the slacker protagonist, has many such rules for surviving life among the hippies and hillbillies of far Northern California, and they're sprinkled throughout. In the course of CALABAMA, Eric manages to break every rule.

CALABAMA debuts June 15 on Kindle, Smashwords and other e-book platforms. Only $2.99. Please tell all your friends.

Here are two more openers I like. From my Bubba Mabry novel DIRTY POOL: Friends come and go, but enemies are forever.

And, from BULLETS: Some people are ridiculously easy to kill.

Got favorites?


New novel on the way

Here's a first look at the cover art for my new crime novel, CALABAMA. Cool, huh?

The cover was designed by Kelly Brewer, who's done several of my e-book covers. She's also an excellent copy editor. I married well.

CALABAMA comes out June 15 via Kindle, Smashwords and other e-book platforms. Only $2.99.

CALABAMA is "hillbilly noir" in the vein of TV's "Justified" or Daniel Woodrell's "Winter's Bone," but it's set in the wilds of Northern California. It's the story of Eric Newlin, a slacker who works for his father-in-law in the remote town of Redding. Eric survives a near-miss in traffic, and decides it's an omen: His life is about to change. And he's right. His life goes right down the toilet. Within days, he's fallen so far that he finds himself mixed up in a kidnapping scheme with a local crimelord named Rydell Vance.

I recently read the manuscript again, getting it ready for publication, and the dark humor still cracks me up. Hope others feel the same way.