Archive for the 'Joe’s Posts' Category
Tuesday, June 8th, 2010 by Joe Nassise
They say that all good things must eventually come to an end and its true in blogging as it is anywhere else; today will be my last regular post here at Genreality. I’ve greatly enjoying spending the last eighteen months with you all (my first post here was Jan 20, 2009!) and I hope the feeling has been mutual. Its been a joy to share my thoughts on writing with you and to receive your thoughts and feedback in return.
The next six months are going to be extremely busy for me, which is why I let Sasha know that I needed to take a break. I’ve started to miss some of my regular posting days due to my schedule and I know it will only get worse as the weeks go by. It isn’t fair to the rest of the participants here for my posting to get sporadic, so I figure its best to bow out gracefully while you still hold me in relatively good regard.
That’s not to say you won’t see me around. In fact, the end of 2010 and especially 2011 will be a very good year for me, release wise. In September Gold Eagle will be releasing my second Rogue Angel book, The Dragon’s Mark, and two more will follow in 2011 – Tear of the Gods and Ghosts of the Confederacy. In addition, Tor will be releasing the first two books in my Hunt Chronicles urban fantasy series, starting with Eyes to See in the Spring. That will be my first hardcover series and I’m greatly looking forward to it. And certainly very near and dear to my heart will be an omnibus volume of all three of the Templar Chronicles books that will come out later this year from Bad Moon Books. I’ve just received the cover art and I can’t think of a better way to share it than by revealing it on my last day here.
And on top of all that, I’ve recently sold a new series to HarperCollins that’s set in an alternate World War One full of steampunk and zombies. Kind of a mashup between The Blue Max and Inglorious Bastards, with a healthy serving of 29 Days Later mixed in for seasoning. Should be a blast to write and I’ll be sure to swing back by and keep you all posted.
For now, thanks for all the comments and suggestions and I hope you continue to enjoy the fine posts here at Genreality well into the future!
All the best,
Tuesday, May 25th, 2010 by Joe Nassise
I wrote last week about Joe Konrath’s recent deal with AmazonEncore to publish the next book in his Jaqueline “Jack” Daniels series, SHAKEN. There were a number of others who wrote/blogged/commented on the same topic, with views that went from “eh, so what?” to “this is a blockbuster event.” (Personally, as I said last week, I tend to fall somewhere in the middle of all that.)
Recently, Publishers Weekly printed an article that presented a rather unflattering look at the situation. Referring to Joe as a “midlist crime novelist” who’s been “published by Hyperion in paperback for years,” they also printed some of his sales numbers from Bookscan as a way of supporting their view.
According to Nielsen BookScan, the first book in the Jack Daniels series, Whiskey Sour (2005), sold 32,000 copies, while the latest, Cherry Bomb (2009), has sold 4,000 copies. So Konrath essentially took a book no one wanted and instead of fully self-publishing it, signed with Amazon-Encore, which will bring the book out in paperback a year after the Kindle release this summer and at the very least e-mail all those who downloaded his last book.
Yesterday, Joe responded on his blog to the article, noting that Publishers Weekly seriously missed their opportunity to double check their facts and get the information correct before publishing. For instance, he notes:
“My six Jack Daniels books have earned US royalties in excess of $200,000. They are all still in print, some in multiple printings.”
“The first three have more than earned out their advance of $110,000. The second three should should earn out their advance of $125,000, but all the the books haven’t been released yet. CHERRY BOMB, my last book in the contract, is not coming out in paperback until June. “
“As for the sales figures PW quotes from Bookscan, they certainly don’t match my figures or my bank account, and it appears the 32,000 they quoted for my first book is for paperback sales, and the 4000 they quoted for Cherry Bomb is for the hardcover release, which was botched in one of the major chains, but still managed to somehow sell enough to have a second printing. Kind of a simple-yet-important thing to overlook, PW mixing up those paperback and hardcover sales, and it certainly does make it look like my overall sales dropped dramatically.”
As I noted before, I find the entire situation fascinating. I am surprised, and a bit dismayed, by the PW article – I would think they would report on key issues like this with a bit more attention to accuracy and factual evidence. It was not, after all, an editorial.
What do you think about all this? Did the PW article sound as negative to you as it did to me? Did you feel there was a definite slant at work in the reporting? How did the additional information that Joe revealed about the success of the books (earning out advances of that size isn’t an easy thing to do!) change your view of the situation?
This inquiring mind wants to know!
Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 by Joe Nassise
Yesterday, fellow writer Joe Konrath announced that the next book in his Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels mystery series, Shaken, would be published through the Amazon Encore program.
What makes this interesting, for those of you who might not be familiar with Joe’s career, is that the last six books in the Jack Daniels series had been published in hardcover to a fair degree of success by Hyperion. Joe is also an author who has taken advantage of the ability to make his backlist available to readers via the Amazon Kindle and has been having great financial success with that strategy, earning royalties of more than $4000 per month as a result.
Having already had success taking matters into his own hands with regard to his backlist, Joe apparently decided to pursue the same course when New York passed on the eight book in his popular series. As he says on his blog, “Traditional publishers had a chance to buy Shaken last year. They passed on it. Their loss. Their big loss. Their big, huge, monumental, epic fail.”
As far as I know, this is the first time that the Amazon Encore program has been used to publish original fiction, Previously, it has republished works that had been previously self published by the authors themselves.
Joe has been vocal in his stance that publishers need to change in order to keep up with the changing face of publishing, given the rise of ebooks, ereaders, and the many ways authors now have to bring their works to the readers who enjoy them. While he won’t discuss the specifics of the deal itself, Joe does say “that my terrific agents have been involved from the very beginning of negotiations, and have been essential in getting me a very favorable contract. I couldn’t be happier.” Given what he publicly admits to making with his self-published Kindle books, I imagine Amazon must have cut a nice deal with him for him to say he “couldn’t be happier.”
I admit I’m intrigued by this development. I’d certainly love it if my Kindle books would sell as well as Joe’s are selling currently and I suspect that this move will really boost his sales, both for his current titles and for Shaken itself. Being on the front end of a big new wave is always a good thing. Is it sustainable? I don’t know. Will Joe do this for the rest of his books? I don’t know.
I do know it will be interesting to watch and see.
Tell me, what kind of implications do you see resulting from something like this?
Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 by Joe Nassise
The Preacher stood atop an old wooden crate in the middle of the park, shouting out his message. His arms were outstretched, his palms extended up toward heaven, his head thrown back as if to catch whatever faint vestiges of sunlight might sneak through the clouds. His raspy voice echoed in the still air.
“Repent, for the end is near! The Horsemen shall ride and blood shall flow in their wake. Confess your sins and receive salvation before it is too late!” His clothing was an assortment of obvious cast-offs, some too small, some several sizes too large, and his long, matted hair was partially obscured by a grimy baseball cap. A shopping cart full of plastic garbage bags bursting with discarded junk stood a few feet away.
I didn’t need some religious rabble rouser getting on my nerves, so I gave him a wide berth as I continued on my way. I was annoyed enough as it was already.
I’d walked only a few feet farther when…
“I can help you find her, you know.”
The phrase was spoken so matter-of-factly that at first I wasn’t certain I’d heard him correctly. My steps slowed, then they stopped altogether as I tried to puzzle it out.
Into the silence the voice came again, and this time there was no mistaking what was said. “I can help you find her.”
The man now stood upright, his arms at his sides. His face was angled away from me, still looking upward at the setting sun, and the falling waves of his hair kept his features obscured, but somehow I knew he was talking to me.
“Excuse me?” I asked.
“Your daughter. I can help you find her.” As he spoke, the Preacher slowly turned to look at me, revealing two empty sockets where his eyes should have been. The edges of the pits were raw and inflamed, as if their former occupants had just been ripped free from their moorings and tossed casually aside, forgotten. Those empty sockets stared at me with furious accusation.
The sensation of being seen, being watched, by that ruined face sent chills racing across my body. Trapped by his eyeless gaze, I suddenly had a hard time finding my voice. When I did, it came out weak and uneven. “What do you know about my daughter?” I stammered.
The Preacher jumped down from his perch and moved forward without hesitation. He crossed the distance between us unerringly, without a single misstep, until there were just a few feet between us. A wave of bitter cold traveled before him, an Arctic wind stolen from the depths of the north, and I was suddenly enveloped in its hoary clutches. I felt dizzy, overwhelmed, as if the cold was affecting my thoughts, numbing my capacity to think. As if from a distance, the other’s voice reached my ears faintly, hollowly. “I know she’s missing. And I know you can find her, if you have the courage. If you care enough about her to do what must be done.”
I took a step back, my nerves jangling. “Who are you? What do you want with me?”
“Who I am is unimportant. I want you to find your daughter, and I’m the only one who can give you the knowledge you need to do so.”
“You know how to find my daughter?”
Rather than responding verbally, the man reached inside his shirt and withdrew a parcel wrapped in a stained cloth and tied with what appeared to be twine. He offered it to me.
Whatever it was, the sight of it made me instantly nauseous, as if my body instinctively knew something I did not. I stepped back a step without realizing I’d decided to do so.
“What’s this?” the stranger asked, surprised. “Don’t you want to save your little girl?”
Despite a growing sense of fear, I croaked out another response. “I don’t need your help.”
The other laughed. “Of course you do, you just don’t know it yet.” He slipped the package back out of sight. “No matter. Everyone comes to me in their own time.”
A grinning leer crept over his features, and the sight of it was enough to finally jar me out of my daze. I turned away without another word and continued across the park to my car. Once inside, I turned the heater on high, chilled to the bone and wondering if I would ever be warm again.
The excerpt above is from my novel EYES TO SEE, due out in hardcover from Tor in March. It is the first of three books featuring the character Jeremiah Hunt and I’ve been dying for readers to get to know him for more than a year now. Why, you ask, am I posting an excerpt so far in advance of the book’s official release?
I’ll tell you why. In the mail today there was a package. And in that package were a stack of what the industry calls “uncorrected bound manuscripts” and what I think of as the first, tentative cries of a new born book.
Uncorrected bound manuscripts are exactly what the name suggests. Bound copies of the manuscript printed up by the publisher so that they can be sent out well in advance of the book going into production. They’re typically used to get cover quotes or advance reviews, so that by the time the book actually does begin its long journey to the printer, there is something besides marketing copy to put on the cover.
As I sat here flipping through one of these bound manuscripts, it fell open to the passage I quoted above. I remember writing that very passage, remember creating the character of the Preacher and puzzling out what the encounter would eventually mean to my hero, Jeremiah. Those words were written in the winter of 2008, shortly after the book sold on proposal to my German publisher, Droemer-Knaur. US rights sold to Tor in the summer of 2009 and it wasn’t long before I heard the verdict – the proposed publication date would be Spring 2011.
Fast forward to now. I’m finally holding in my hands a printed copy of a book I wrote almost two years ago, a book that I’m dying for my fans to read, and I can’t help but feel a little bit of pride when I think about the journey this story has taken so far, and still has yet to go. What started in the depths of my imagination has at last begun to impose itself on the material world and I’m very much looking forward to the day it is finally and irrevocably born into the light, ready at last for you to find it on your local bookstore shelves and take it home with you to complete the circle, from my imagination to yours.
Tuesday, May 4th, 2010 by Joe Nassise
I’m always on the lookout for new tools that can help bring my work to the right audience and while surfing the web this past week I stumbled upon a new site (or, at least, new to me) called BookTour.com.
BookTour bills itself as “the world’s largest 100% free directory of author events” and is designed to allow an author to easily put up a page containing their biography, bibliography, and a list of upcoming engagements and public appearances. More importantly, as they say, readers can search the database for “the best of what’s nearby.”
The service comes courtesy of Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine and author of The Long Tail, and Kevin Smokler, editor of Bookmark Now and the creator of the Virtual Book Tour.
The site seems easy to use and putting up a page only takes a few minutes of effort. Events in the BookTour database are automatically sent to their partnership sites, increasing the spread of your information. While I couldn’t find a full list of such sites, I did discover that you can link your BookTour page with Amazon Central, making your tour appearances show up right on your Amazon Central page, which I think is very cool. Another neat feature is the ability to have your information included in the email updates they send to subscribers, which lets them learn about author events within a crtain number of miles within their zip code.
While I don’t currently have any events scheduled for the next quarter, I will be ramping up appearances in the spring and BookTour.com looks like it will be a useful tool to help me with that when the time comes.
Tuesday, April 27th, 2010 by Joe Nassise
Over the last few months I’ve begun making some of my work available through the Kindle Store at Amazon. Right now I think I have four novels (The Heretic, A Scream of Angels, A Tear in the Sky, Riverwatch) , a novella (More Than Life Itself) , and a short story collection (Shades of Reality) available for sale, all for under $2.00.
For the first couple of months, I sold an average of five copies. And let’s be clear – that’s not five copies of each, that’s five copies total.
Obviously, something needed to be done.
So I decided to start letting folks know the books were out there by posting about them on the various blogs I write for, making an occasional Tweet on the subject, and participating in various message board discussions. My sales started to climb and in the last few months I’ve sold an average of 100 copies per month.
I’m still nowhere near the range I’d like to be in and am certainly not bringing in the kind of sales that folks like Joe Konrath (180 books a day!) or Karen McQuestion (30,000 books this year) are, but its a start, right?
In my continued quest to increase sales of those ebooks, I’ve decided to try a new tactic. Taking my cue from people like Joe Konrath, Cory Doctorow, Scott Sigler and J.C. Hutchins, I’ve decided that I’m going to offer the complete text of my debut novel, Riverwatch, for free from my website. Each day, starting today and continuing for the next 42 days after that, I’ll be posting a new chapter from the book for your reading enjoyment.
Riverwatch was nominated for both the Bram Stoker Award and the International Horror Guild Award when it was published back in 2003 by Pocket Books. Here’s the jacket copy:
IT HAS WAITED….IT HAS HUNGERED….
When Jake Caruso and his construction team find a hidden tunnel in the cellar of the old Blake mansion in the sleepy hamlet of Harrington Falls, Jake can’t wait to explore its depths. There, he finds an even greater mystery: a stone chamber that’s been covered up for hundreds of years — sealed shut by some long-forgotten warden.
IT HAS BEEN UNLEASHED.
When the ancient seal is broken, a reign of terror and death consumes the town’s residents. Something is stalking them — something that strikes in the darkness without warning or mercy, leaving a trail of innocent blood in its wake — and Jake comes to realize the nightmarish truth of what he has set free. It is an evil born of ages past. A creature of eternal bloodlust. And it has risen to continue its endless slaughter….
My hope is that people will discover my work and enjoy it enough to go check out some of the other material I have available, particularly the ebook versions in the Kindle store. I’ll be adding links to the bottom of each chapter to encourage people to do so. I have no idea how well this will work, if it will work at all, but I feel it is worth a try. I’ll come back and do a follow up post in thirty days to allow us to examine the pros and cons of the process.
You can find the first chapter here.
So what are your predictions? Will it work? Why or why not? Perhaps more importantly, what would you suggest to improve the chance of success?
Tuesday, April 20th, 2010 by Joe Nassise
Opportunities abound for writers today to take their work into new markets and new mediums. I recently made the decision to turn one of my novels into an iPhone app to see what kind of visibility and benefits that might develop for my career.
I’m happy to say that the finished app for The Heretic is now available in the app store on iTunes.
Developed by Tom Peck of AppEngines, the app comes complete with a built-in reader that has some cool features including:
- Full color cover art
- Complete text of the book.
- Full text search with search words highlighted in the text.
- A Table of Contents allowing the reader to jump to any chapter in the book.
- Ability to adjust the font size for optimal viewing.
- Remembers the page you were on and returns instantly each time you run the app.
- Progress bar across the top.
Tom did a terrific job on the app and it has been great working with him – he made the entire process extremely smooth. He’ll also be producing apps for the other books in the trilogy and those will be announced here as soon as Apple approves them for the app store.
Here’s a couple of screenshots of what the actual app looks like once you’ve got it up and running:
I have no idea what kind of market or readership this will bring in for me, but I also felt that I would be remiss if I didn’t give it a try, particularly given the popularity of the iPhone at this point in time.
Has anyone else had experience with developing an app from one of your books? How have you found the process to be?
UPDATE: I’ve just learned that the apps for each of the three books in the series actually went live today, so now you can carry the complete Templar Chronicles with you on your iPhone wherever you go!