Friday, June 6, 2014

FATALLY BOUND - crashing into a new release

Yes it is finally done! It is amazing that this book ever made it onto Amazon, B&N, etc. This year has definitely been trying in a multitude of ways. But first here is the book cover for Fatally Bound...
Back in the Fall, after having a couple of beta readers read the latest then un-named McRyan Mystery #5, I decided to do a complete re-write of the book. I hope to never have to do that again. It is a ton of work to do a re-write, and it delayed the book release by at least six months. So hopefully I've tightened up my writing system by beta testing the concept early enough to avoid this in the future.

I'm trying not to add things up, but the past year has been draining for my family. During the original writing and re-writing we had a city subcontractor break the water main  inside our house. It is sort of like running a fire hose inside your house for two hours. The water pressure and amount of water that comes out is unbelievable and I never thought I would have a carpeted swimming pool in my basement. At 4:30PM on a Friday in Minnesota, it is hard to find anyone to shut off the water main because they are all on the way to their cabins. Next throw in coaching a season of hockey, various family injuries including a broken ankle with a couple of screws, an eye injury, and a car accident with a semi-truck during the last big snow of the season and you probably get the picture. I feel very fortunate to have walked away from this accident...

My car was ground up by the wheels of a semi and then it was spit out and bounced off the cement guard rail totaling both the front and rear of the car and knocking out most of the windows. Angels must have been watching over me that day. It definitely has changed my outlook on life and I hug my wife and kids a lot more. So I need to thank everyone for their patience. It took a lot longer to get this book out than I ever anticipated. It feels good to finally have this one done at last and I'm already working on the next book in the series. Hope you enjoy Fatally Bound.

Fatally Bound is currently available on Amazon, B&NKobo, and iTunes.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Why changing book covers is like changing fashion

Ask any author and they will tell you the world of e-books is changing fast. Book covers have become a bit like fashion. Time to toss out the super-flair bellbottoms in the back of the closet. What was in 5 or 10+ years ago is definitely out. What was in two years ago is probably starting to look a bit dated as well. There are changing trends in fonts, layouts, and the look of entire series. Trying to keep up with all of the e-books trends and changes in the world of online publishing is starting to become a full-time job itself. Look around and you will see other indie authors rolling out new covers on entire series like JA Konrath's Jack Daniels Thrillers , Russell Blake's Jet Series, and Melissa Foster's series just to name a few.

In honor of my new book covers created by Cormar Covers, I'm finally getting around to running a 99 cent sale on The St. Paul Conspiracy through June 1st.  Hats off to Cormar Covers for doing a high quality job and an amazingly quick turnaround on the entire series. If you have already downloaded The St. Paul Conspiracy most of the e-book sites will let you can update your copy easily. In other news, the next book in the McRyan Series is just about ready for release so stay tuned! If you would like an email when the book is released sign up on the new release list and I'll let you know when it is ready to go. Summer is a great time to relax and read!

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Big Box Set Sale

For a short time I am dropping the price of FIRST DEADLY CONSPIRACY - 3 book box set to $.99 The box set includes the first three books in the bestselling McRyan Mystery Series (First Case, The St. Paul Conspiracy, and Deadly Stillwater). So if you haven't read the first three books it is time to catch up before the next release! Ebooks are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and iTunes. Happy reading!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

How Vince Flynn inspired me...

I was saddened to learn that Vince Flynn has passed away at the far too young age of 47 from cancer. Vince’s story of overcoming Dyslexia to become a best selling author was particularly meaningful to my family as our child is Dyslexic. We understand what an obstacle that can be to overcome. Frankly, without Vince, I’m not sure I’d have become an author. Since the early 1990’s, I dreamed of writing mysteries but never put in the work necessary to pursue it. However, when I heard Vince interviewed on a local Twin Cities radio station and learned of his story of self-publishing his first book Term Limits, and doing so while being Dyslexic, I became truly inspired to pursue that dream. You can only imagine how pleased I was that Vince endorsed my second book, Deadly Stillwater. It was really a thrill. It is hard to believe he’s no longer with us. I send out our deepest condolences to the entire Flynn Family. Vince was a Minnesota treasure. He will truly be missed.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Electing To Murder - New Release

The 3rd full length novel from the McRyan Mystery Series is finally published! I really think I forgot just how much work a novel is compared to a novella (aka a much shorter book like FIRST CASE). It is now available in ebook form on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and coming soon on other sites such as KOBO and iBooks. This book takes place in both Minnesota and the east coast and a few other locations along the way.

Well I've laughed at some of the recent suggestions about less hockey and more writing! Since wrapping up the hockey season and this recent book I've started outlining the next book in the series.  Of course the next season is golf season but there will be more McRyan mysteries to come...  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

New e-book cover art

I'm excited to announce all new e-book cover art for the McRyan Mystery Series!  It has been an extremely busy yet exciting time.  Over the past few months we have designed new covers for First Case, The St. Paul Conspiracy and Deadly Stillwater.  We also decided to put the series into a box set called First Deadly Conspiracy containing all three books.  If you have already downloaded Deadly Stillwater (free on all sites including Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, iBooks, Kobo, etc.) you can save by buying the remaining books in the box set for the holidays.  I'm putting the finishing touches on the third full length novel in the McRyan Mystery Series and I hope to have it available in the beginning of 2013.  It will introduce a new character and will send Mac on a complicated trail of clues that takes him across the country.  During this season I am so grateful to the many people who have downloaded and read my books.  Happy holidays and happy reading!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The future of libraries, schools, and the ebook revolution

Last spring I toured a school.  As a group we were shuffled into a large room with the traditional school tables, chairs and a couple of shelves pushed off to the side.  There we were given an overview of the school and various programs offered.  At one point there was an apology. The apology was for the current state of the library.  Yes, we were sitting in the library. This was the library? Initially I was shocked.  Where are the books? Is this a lack of funding? Are they storing their books somewhere else while the room is under renovation? No, it was none of the above. The entire school has moved to the use of laptops.  Students are issued laptops on the first day of school. The students no longer tote around heavy books for math, science and the like. The library is virtually devoid of paper books. The students research, submit, and access information from their school issued laptops.
So that got me to thinking... is this the future of libraries and schools? Will libraries move totally online eliminating the need for paper books?  Will libraries basically become study centers with tables, chairs, or colorful couches or internet cafes on school campuses with coffee, Mountain Dew and candy bars?  What about funding for school technology? Is the technology going to be so inexpensive that laptops and tablets will be virtually disposable?  Will the ebook revolution generate less expensive online textbooks or divert funding from other resources such as physical book budgets?  Will teaching on tablets actually be less expensive than paper books.  Will late adoption by some schools create a vast divide of the "have's" and the "have nots?"
Don't get me wrong I realize there are huge issues with implementation.  Many schools have ongoing theft issues (both suburban and urban), how do we get students and parents to take responsibility for laptops, etc. Public schools can be some of the slowest adopters. Keep in mind that I grew up in the public school system and I am a strong supporter of the public school system (the lack of school funding is a whole different rant for another day).  As an example of late adoption,  schools continue to use cassettes players to teach students. One of the requirements for schools supplies recently was a cassette player.  I almost went into a panic -- where was I going to get a cassette player?  Fortunately (or unfortunately) my wife keeps everything. So you guessed it, we had a small portable cassette player in the basement in a box. It is grey with a long strap so you could throw it over your shoulder like a purse and listen to music as you walk. And yes there is still a pink Walkman in our basement as well -- at what point does an item become an antique?

Much debate has been generated about paper books. Bestsellers still generate a majority of their sales from paper  rather than eBooks. However, the resale of paper books is almost at zero just take a look at Amazon's buy back rate.  Every garage sale has hardcover and softcover books for sale for as little as a quarter (including recent bestsellers). Paper books are almost worthless after purchase (other than the intrinsic enjoyment from reading the story).  I recently purchased a hardcover book on Amazon for a school project.  The used  hardcover book was 1/2 the price of the paperback and 1/3 of the price of the ebook and it came with free shipping for a total of $2.95. The rock bottom price with free shipping forced me to buy the hardcover which now I will probably donate.  So with used paper books that are almost free, will that hinder libraries and schools from moving towards technology?
It is a total paradigm change and one that can quietly slip by if there isn't someone championing the cause.  One that public and private schools need to consider because the early adopters are navigating this new terrain now and they have been for two or more years.  So just what is the future of libraries, schools, and books?