Saturday, February 26, 2011

Guest Post by Jeff Strand

My guest today is Jeff Strand. You may know know him as my co-author of Suckers and Draculas.

By coincidence, that's also how I may know him.

Anyway, Jeff has been at this ebook game longer than anyone. But we really can't give him props for that, because in 11 years of ebook sales he's made exactly $73.41.

That's $6.67 a year, before taxes. I'm posting this because a lot of my blog readers like hard numbers.

But now Jeff has finally decided to join the rest of us in 2011 and publish on Kindle, and...

Well, I'll let Jeff tell you.

The Long, Strange Trip of “The Sinister Mr. Corpse”
by Jeff Strand

My introduction to the world of e-books was back in 1999, when author Pauline Baird Jones encouraged me to send one of my novels to an electronic publisher. My initial reaction was “Sure, or, in a similar vein, I could print out my manuscript, sprinkle a little Fresh Step on top, and let my cat defile it.” But after a little more research, I decided to give it a try, and in 2000 three of my unpublished novels came out as e-books. (Out of Whack was also supposed to come out that year, but its route to publication was hampered by the minor detail that the publisher sucked.)

Back then, you were an “e-book author” before everything else. Stephen King had given the format a bit of legitimacy with Riding the Bullet, but 99.999% of the e-book authors were not Mr. King. I could’ve played a drinking game with the number of times I heard “Let me know when it’s a real book.” Despite my insistence that my publishers provided cover art, formatting, editing, etc. there was still a very real perception that E-Book = Self-Published = Crap.

But, hey, I threw myself into e-books full force. I spent three years on the board of EPIC, an e-book authors’ organization, two of them as President, and emceed the EPPIES awards banquet (in a tux!) nine times. I continue to emcee awards banquets (in June, I’ll emcee the Bram Stoker Awards for the third time) but I will never, ever, ever, ever be on the board of a writers’ organization ever, ever, ever again. That way lies a descent into the gaping jaws of madness.

In 2003, my novel Mandibles appeared in actual print, and was soon followed by a few others. It was print-on-demand and thus didn’t really appear in bookstore shelves, but the “When are you going to publish a real book?” question had been answered. I still liked e-books, but I was no longer required to be a passionate proponent of them to market my work. Sweeeeeet.

Though the hardcover edition of my 2006 novel Pressure was available as a $25 trade hardcover and did get bookstore distribution, almost all of my work after that was part of the limited edition market. Unlike e-books in 2000, hardcover limited edition horror novels had a built-in market, and books like The Sinister Mr. Corpse, Disposal, The Haunted Forest Tour, and Gleefully Macabre Tales all started out exclusively available in $35-$50 editions. It was fantastic, because these books looked incredible, but in terms of reaching actual readers…well, your potential audience is not huge when you’re offering 250 copies of a $50 book. Once again, the format overshadowed the content.

And then, in 2009, it finally happened. My first mass market release. The paperback edition of Pressure was in bookstores everywhere for $7.99. My sister picked one up at a military base in Korea and my dad got one in a grocery store in Alaska. There was nothing to block anybody from reading this book. It was cheap and easily available. If you wanted a copy of Pressure, by golly you could get a copy of Pressure. Dweller followed. Suddenly, it was ALL about the content. There was nothing to explain except that it was about being best buddies with a serial killer.

I did a ton of book signings for it, and what question kept coming up? “Is it available for my e-book reader?” Being polite, I did not shout “Are you freakin’ KIDDING ME??? It’s a $7.99 paperback on the table right in front of you!”

In 2010, I looped around right back to where I’d started, with Draculas, a novel written exclusively for the e-book market. It wasn’t quite where I started, because this time I was piggybacking off JA Konrath, F. Paul Wilson, and Blake Crouch, but still, the world of publishing had changed to the point where it actually made sense to not even try to get a print contract!

In 2011, I looped around again with The Sinister Mr. Corpse…except that this time, there wasn’t even the cry of “It’s not self-published! My publisher is like any other publisher except for the format! I’m a real author, dammit!” The Sinister Mr. Corpse is a self-published e-book. Eleven years later, after clawing my way up through the ranks, getting my work in a format that everybody in the world would agree was a “real” book…I decided that the best home for my zombie comedy novel was to upload it to Amazon and Smashwords myself.

I can’t deny that there’s an element of frustration in watching the market change just as I broke through, but at the same time, it’s incredibly exciting. I can control the price. Upload it whenever I think it’s ready. Write whatever the hell I want. I have to admit that I’m nowhere near ready to abandon the pursuit of traditional publishing, and my next novel is going to my agent and not Amazon…but still, the freedom, and the possibilities the whole Kindle revolution offers are jaw-dropping.

Unless The Sinister Mr. Corpse tanks. Then I’ll be completely bitter.


Jeff Strand's 10 Reasons Why You MUST Buy The Sinister Mr. Corpse

1. I Was E-Published Before It Was Cool

Graverobbers Wanted (No Experience Necessary) was published as an e-book in May 2000. Back then, if you were e-published, everybody thought you SUCKED! You were a LOSER! I suffered for the technology! There was none of this “Oooooh, how I love my Kindle!” sentiment. I practically got beat up in playgrounds over this.

2. It’s Dirt-Cheap

It’s $2.99. Have you ever heard of an e-book only costing $2.99? Well, yeah, lots of them are these days, but still…$2.99 for a novel? That’s madness! Honestly, when you finish reading The Sinister Mr. Corpse you’re going to feel like a criminal for having gotten it so cheap. And there’s no better feeling than the adrenaline rush of committing a crime, even if it’s a white-collar crime like this one.

3. You Don’t Need A Kindle (Though They’re Awesome)

The Smashwords edition is available in a bunch of different formats, covering pretty much any e-way you’d want to read it, and you can re-download it if you change your mind. The Amazon edition does not have DRM (digital rights management) enabled, so if you use Blake Crouch’s handy guide you can convert it to whatever format you want.

You can also download the Kindle app (for free!) for your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, ColecoVision, or whatever and read the Kindle editions that way. The download links are on the right side of the Amazon ordering page.

This also means that you could copy and share it pretty easily, but if you do, I’ll hunt your e-pirating ass to the ends of the earth.

4. It’s Suitable For Zombie Fans and Zombie Haters

Love zombies? It’s a zombie novel! Hate zombies? It’s a satire! It’s the ultimate in have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too storytelling. If you’re humorless and grim, it’s possible that you won’t enjoy this book all that much, but that’s what my novel Pressure is for.

5. People Kinda Like It

“For pure, unadulterated, foul-mouthed, off-the-wall Strand at his humor-horror sarcastic best there is nothing that comes close to The Sinister Mr. Corpse.” — Savannah Now

“Those expecting the typical apocalyptic world full of flesh eating corpses will quickly realize they are in for a different treat altogether. For those familiar with Mr. Strand’s popular Andrew Mayhem novels, take the witty banter, sharp one liners and laugh out loud moments, and then turn it up a notch or three.” — Horror World

“With loads of relentless action and characters that make reading seem more like eavesdropping, The Sinister Mr. Corpse will have even the biggest stiffs among us laughing all the way to the grave.” — Rue Morgue

I liked it, but Strand is a tool. J.A. Konrath, millionaire author

6. If You Don’t Buy A Copy, In Three Days You Will Be Walking Down The Sidewalk, Lost In Thought, And An Ice Cream Truck’s Brakes Will Fail, Causing The Vehicle To Careen Off The Road And Splatter You Like A Melted Cherry Popsicle.

Sorry, but it’s true.

7. If You Do Buy A Copy, In Three Days You’ll See An Adorable Orphan Walking Down The Sidewalk, Lost In Thought, And Because Your Senses Are Hyper-Aware From Having Read The Sinister Mr. Corpse, You’ll Save Him From An Out-Of-Control Ice Cream Truck, And Get A Reward That’s Way More Than The $2.99 You Spent.

Awesome, huh?

8. It’s Not Another Frickin’ Mash-Up

I’m not suggesting that Pride & Prejudice & Zombies was not the single most brilliant idea of the 21st century, because it totally was, but maybe you’re getting sick of authors saying “In my mash-up novel, you can’t tell which parts were written by me and which parts were written by F. Scott Fitzgerald!” You can buy The Sinister Mr. Corpse with confidence, knowing that none of it came from a public domain work by an author whose skills are far superior to my own.

9. I’m Saying “Please.”

Please?

10. Stick It To The Man!

The Sinister Mr. Corpse is my first venture into the world of self-publishing, and every time you buy a copy, some man is getting stuck! Fight the power! Support the little guy by heading over to Amazon right now and…okay, yeah, I’ll admit that Amazon fits the criteria of The Man, so you’re actually sort of supporting The Man instead of sticking it to him, but, still, they’ve created a world where I can self-publish a novel for the Kindle without people saying “You suck!!!” (See Item #1 above.)

Click HERE to get it from Amazon.

Click HERE to get it from Smashwords.

Joe sez: If you want to win some Jeff Strand books, head over to All Purpose Monkey's Blog and follow the instructions.

I'm proud that Jeff is finally releasing his work on Kindle, after I've been screaming at him for two years to do so. Strand, like Barry Eisler, is proof that you can lead a mentally challenged horse to water and make them drink, but it takes twenty-four months of nagging.

Also, for those who are still reading, here's my review of The Sinister Mr. Corpse:

Lately I've been accused of "shilling" reviews for my writing friends.

That's complete and total absurdness.

I do write a lot of 5 star reviews for friends of mine because I truly love their work, and it deserves five stars.

I never write a 5 star review simply because I like someone. Especially in this case.

While The Sinister Mr. Corpse is a laugh aloud horrific romp and well worth the low price, I'm not giving it 5 stars because I like the author, Jeff Strand.

In fact, Jeff is a jerk. A jerk, a ninny, a butthead, and a lowlife.

Now, Strand may get on his high horse (as per usual) and claim that I'm calling him a poopypants because I'm envious of his writing ability.

Nothing could be more untrue.

While Strand is, admittedly, an excellent writer, I'm not the type to be envious of anyone.

But I do feel a need to warn everyone who may come into contact with Jeff Strand to arm yourself with some pepper spray if he gets feisty, and a portable video game if he starts talking, because hooo boy that guy can TALK. And he never says anything the slightest bit interesting. He's lucky he's gets paid for being a writer, not for giving speeches, because he's so bland he could bore monks. His delivery is slower than a snail surfing on molasses. He's so full of hot air that HE is the true cause Global Warming.

You get the idea.

Where was I?

Oh, yeah.

The Sinister Mr. Corpse: 5 Stars

Jeff Strand: 1 Star, because these isn't an option for zero

Trust me. I'm an author.


64 comments:

gniz said...

Jeff's list of reasons to buy his book did make me want to buy it...and it did kind of make me afraid of being hit by an ice cream truck if I didn't.

BTW, Joe, I notice that your experiment with The List seems to have worked. You've broken into the top 100. Any thoughts on that?

(Another BTW, I broke 1000 sales this month, across multiple ebook titles. Its my second full month as an e-published author).

Aaron

epubmanifesto.blogspot.com

Edward G. Talbot said...

Well Jesus, I want to be able to save the orphan. So like J. Geils said, I guess I gotta buy it.

Joe Konrath said...

I bought the ebook and the hardcover, and, no kidding, I've saved two orphans so far.

Helen Smith said...

Good luck with it, Jeff. I like the cover, by the way.

Shaun said...

I have the hardback of The Sinister Mr. Corpse, and I'd recommend it to anyone to buy on Kindle.

Terry Odell said...

I hadn't thought of the ice cream truck and orphan ploys in my marketing reasons to buy my $2.99 novels, and they're action adventure romance, not zombie, but most of the rest of the reasons hold true for me as well.

Terry
Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

gniz said...

Shaun,

That cover for Dead Man's Eye is really "eye-catching", no pun intended. I clicked on your bio to get a better look at it, even though it's a very tiny icon in the blogger comment section.

Awesome cover, hope the book is doing well!

Lanette Curington said...

I Was E-Published Before It Was Cool

Yep, been e-published since 2000, too. Mr. Strand beat me by a couple of months. My first e-pubbed novel Starkissed, after being with a few different e-pubs over the years, is now with Samhain. It's reaching a wider audience (rank is down to a nice number, and its hitting some sub-category top 100 lists).Can't wait to see the royalty reports in a few months for January and February.

Finally being e-published is cool!

Starkissed

Anonymous said...

I have the hardcover, but I had to get the kindle edition too. I have reread Jeff Strand books numerous times, so it's great to be able to get them on kindle now, so when I need a Strand fix, I have the books with me:) I have lost count on how many times I read his Mayhem series, THE BEST! If you haven't read Jeff's books yet, get them all, you will love them.

Joe Konrath said...

I have lost count on how many times I read his Mayhem series, THE BEST! If you haven't read Jeff's books yet, get them all, you will love them.

I agree, but Jeff, that's really shallow posting anonymously like that...

Doug Lance said...

Hey Joe!

Thanks for answering my question in the radio interview you just did.

Doug Lance

Skip said...

"This also means that you could copy and share it pretty easily, but if you do, I’ll hunt your e-pirating ass to the ends of the earth."

I think this is a bit tongue in cheek, but you know what? Reading things like this will make me avoid buying any of your books. Because if you're going to get offended at me loaning a copy to a buddy after I finish it exactly like I did many, many times with paperbacks over the years saying "hey, this was pretty good, you should check this out", well, I won't go against your wishes, but it means I won't buy them in the first place. In many, many cases when a buddy's 'loaned' me the first book in a series I've bought the rest of them, because it added a series or author to the list I looked for to pick up. So bad attitude, your loss.

Joe Konrath said...

Reading things like this will make me avoid buying any of your books.

He was kidding, Skip. Strand had 5tb of pirated music.

Unfortunately, it's all a-ha bootlegs...

S.J. Harris said...

Love the cover, Jeff. Best of luck with it!

Journey Into Darkness: A Kim Journey Thriller

Megg Jensen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Megg Jensen said...

OMG, you guys are hilarious. I love the writing community!

$2.99 is a great price point for a novel. At least that's where mine is priced, so I have to agree. ;)

BTW, I'm #20 today on B&N's PubIt! Teen list and my cover has been featured on the PubIt! website for a few days now under Young Adult. Not too shabby for a girl who debuted a couple weeks ago....

Megg Jensen
www.meggjensen.com

Rebecca Stroud said...

If you don’t buy a copy of Devil's Moon today, tomorrow Joe Konrath will be walking down the sidewalk, lost in thought, and an ice cream truck’s brakes will fail, causing the vehicle to careen off the road and squash him like a bug and then you'll have no more wonderful blog posts to read. So, please save Joe!

Mitchie said...

Joe, I have to wonder - does the shameless self-promotion by the people in your comments section ever bother you?

It's one thing to comment on the subject at hand, but quite another to throw advertisements for your work up on another's thread of discussion...

It gets to me (I never click any links of those same shameless I mention, by the by). There was one on your last blog post about a guy who'd gotten an e-mail for his thing that was just up, and hey, why not post it there?

I was so annoyed I wished I had the option to block certain commenters. So, just wondering your opinion...

Heidi C. Vlach said...

If you ever release a stand-up-comedy-type DVD of yourself mocking your friends, Joe, I'll buy the heck out of it.

Joe Konrath said...

does the shameless self-promotion by the people in your comments section ever bother you?

Nope. I often buy books that are linked to in the comments.

Being a writer is tough, and so is self-promotion. I'd never begrudge someone a change to plug their work.

So far, no one has abused it. If someone started plugging all the time, I'd tell them to stop it.

gniz said...

I do a little shameless self-promotion but usually try to engage in the conversation at hand as well. From what I've seen overall, most who self promote here also participate heartily in the dialogue too.

But I have wondered if it gets on anyone's nerves and apparently it does. If Joe is bothered by it, he should mention it and I believe most of us would listen.

In fact, I'll stop plugging and just comment from now on.

Aaron
epubmanifesto.blogspot.com
PS Just kidding, I'm going to continue to shamelessly self-promote anyway!

Sarah said...

THAT was hilarious. Thank you Joe and Jeff, for making me laugh (and by the book :)

www.sarahwoodbury.com

Coral Russell said...

http://alchemyofscrawl.blogspot.com/2011/02/2nd-bestselling-book-in-america-costs.html

Sorry, I just saw this news article and wondered what the deal was with the Alone book, now I know, so I had to share. It seems really smart.

Jeff, going to check out Mr. Corpse because I love a comedy/horror story

Fran Yoakum Veal said...

I'm not particularly a fan of horror, but that blasted cover has made me want to download the book and read, gore and all.

And Joe, I've been following your blog (mostly silently) for about six months now and you've convinced me to epub my YA WIP, Finding My Escape.

(So does it count as a plug if it isn't actually out yet?)

Jude Hardin said...

There was one on your last blog post about a guy who'd gotten an e-mail for his thing that was just up, and hey, why not post it there?

For the record, I didn't just arbitrarily post a link to Deadly by the Dozen. It was pertinent to the pricing discussion we were having at the time.

I suppose BSP could potentially become a problem here, but I don't think it has yet. There's a lot of thoughtful discussion going on, and a link at the bottom of someone's post doesn't bother me a bit.

In fact, I appreciate a quick link to something I might be interested in. It saves time, and that's a good thing.

If you're not interested, don't click. Pretty simple.

Pocket-47 Book Trailer

dr.cpe said...

thanks joe and jeff, that was fun to read. I think in the ebk community of authors, it is addicting to read about others' successes, just speaking for myself, with all the 'carp' news elsewhere in pub, it makes me happy that others are succeeding on the 'ebk cherokee strip.'

Just thinking Joe, at some point (now?), many of your interviews with ebk authors would make a timely ebk for aspirants to read w links back to here and other ebks as you wish. My sense is it would be great to have 2 doz of them all in one place.

And Joe when you do your interviews, do you do them on Google docs, too? They are not transcribed, right? Rather written back and forth?

thanks always

Shaun said...

@gniz Thanks. Glad you like it :)

Selena Kitt said...

You know I love me some horror... but you guys need to stop this relentless releasing of books! I just finished Crouch's soon-to-be-released Run, I've got Killers on my Kindle, I just bought Eisler's short... and now this!

When am I going to find time to write about sex? :P

Hey Jeff, I had NO idea you were an EPIC board member. Dude, my hat's off to you. That is a thankless job, and not an easy one. You rock even more than I already thought you did. ;)

Karly Kirkpatrick said...

You guys crack me up! I will check out the book, mainly because I do like zombies, I enjoy sticking to the man, and also not getting run over by runaway ice cream trucks.

Great post and best of luck, Jeff! I have a feeling once your book is a major success...you may be singing a different tune about giving that next book to your agent!

Karly
www.karlykirkpatrick.com
www.darksidepublishing.com

Archangel said...

@jeff
just reread this interview to my aspiring author grandson (age 13 boy into man right before very eyes, amazing to watch the cross over)

this is the part he liked the most of what you said: "You can buy The Sinister Mr. Corpse with confidence, knowing that none of it came from a public domain work by an author whose skills are far superior to my own."

He thinks you write 'Mighty-G" (translation avail if you dont have a teen right now) and says that writing 'your own stuff' is like 'going to the moon in a real rocket' instead of cutting out pictures of old rockets."

ok, so there you have it. I hope you might say a word back to him to encourage him in his own writing. He is ace smart, but did not talk til he was 5 years old. Now, he has a beautiful voice and helps special needs kids as senior patrol leader in BSA first ever troup for boys with special needs in the US, (kidlettes who are deaf, have CP, Asbergers, blindness, wheelchair bound, and other needs for accommodations in outdoorsmanship etc) ... and is writing a comic book with a lead female character named Honor [Hon] whose nemesis is another named Iceman.

dr.cpe

S.L. Pierce said...

I was just wondering how you set up your amazon for two authors, in terms of getting paid. I am co-writing a book now and wondering how to make sure the profits are split, so one of us is not hit with the big tax bill when it becomes an international bestseller:)

SlingWords aka Joan Reeves said...

does the shameless self-promotion by the people in your comments section ever bother you

As long as the poster contributes to the conversation, I don't think a posted link is improper and rude.

In fact, I like the links included in a writer's comments. I've bought books I'd otherwise never have discovered. I've also "met" new authors whose blogs rapidly become a "must read."

I'm realistic in that I expect a certain amount of self-promotion from even the most self-effacing author. It's part of being an author and is necessary to drive traffic to the book.

So as long as the writers posting links aren't being jerks about it, I say cut them some slack.

Jude Hardin said...

But Jeff, aren't you going to feel bad if in three days someone is really walking down the sidewalk lost in thought and an ice cream truck really careens off the road and splatters them like a melted cherry Popsicle?

;)

jtplayer said...

I don't mind the self-promotion at all. In fact, I went ahead and bought Deadly by the Dozen right after Jude posted the link. Looking forward to getting into it.

Everyone here is cool about it, so I really don't see the issue.

Mitchie said...

I think there are different kinds of self-promotion and I don't necessarily think they are all shameless.

1. Posting a link to a book (not your own) that you think a reader of the current blog would like: Not shameless.

2. Posting a link to YOUR book at the END of your thoughtful comment on the issue at hand: Not shameless. (Less shameless if you don't feel obligated to mention price, just leave the link!)

3. Flat-out naming your book/price and not contributing to the conversation: Shameless.

4. This -
Just got an email. I didn't even know this was live yet.
(BOOK LINK)
Twelve short stories for only $2.99
: Shameless!

Yes, Jude, you had a comment about the matter at hand, but you pre-faced it with the above and I rendered what you said next moot for me. I often find myself skipping over your comments for the same reason. I could be missing your thoughtful comments, and I'm interested in what you all have to say - I DO read the comments, after all. But your delivery of your product matters just as much -if not more!- as your opinion.

I'm not trying to pick on any one person here, (Jude, I only mentioned because you by name because you pointed yourself out, I did, in fact, know it was you, as I often take issue with your comments for this very reason - this was just the worst.) I'm just saying I'd like to see people keep it a little classier when it comes to mentioning their works. A little professionalism goes a long way for me!

There's a time and a place for every mention; everywhere and every time fits no scenario.

Anonymous said...

It's Joe's blog. If Joe had a problem with it, he'd end it.

Leave poor Jude alone. He's got a book in a stranglehold with traditional publishing that he's only going to earn a measly 7% on for the next ten years. I'd promote the hell out of it too if it was me.

Mitchie said...

I followed the rules of the game and didn't leave my comments under an anonymous tag so that people could point me out and talk back at me ;)

I'm not trying to pick on Jude - I just said that. I know it looks like it, but it was a prime example!

I know he's got a crappy deal, that's life and sucks for him. But, soft selling is an art that will earn a lot more friends than vinegar, to mix metaphors ;)

Jude Hardin said...

It's Joe's blog. If Joe had a problem with it, he'd end it.

Exactly. I really don't think Joe needs any help policing the area.

When I come to your blog, Mitchie, I'll follow your rules. That's how that works.

And I'm very happy that I was able to get a book deal with a legitimate publisher on the tail what might prove to be the end of the hardcover era. It means I have accomplished something that the vast majority of aspiring writers never do. If I had gone ahead and self-published with nothing but a pile of rejection slips as credentials...well, that's when life would have sucked for me. Now I know I'm actually good enough to be published. Now I can start building on a career. And I guarantee you I'll make more money from my crappy deal than most indie authors will ever make selling books for $.99 or $2.99. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with going indie or selling books at those prices, but it's a fact most will never sell many books because most are simply not good enough to be published.

Deadly by the Dozen

Pocket-47 Book Trailer

Jude Hardin said...

Thanks for buying the anthology, JT! Hope you enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Great post Jeff. What made you stick with ebooks when people seemed to be down on you?

Sean McCartney
The Treasure Hunters Club
Secrets of the Magical Medallions

Douglas Dorow said...

Jude, now you've just gone and insulted a lot of people who are exploring this new publishing frontier with a big generalization. You're stating that if I don't pursue a legacy publisher that I'm crap.

Hopefully, you'll read my vetted, edited manuscript when it's ready.

Good luck to you when you hit your publishing date. You're not making a lot of friends who could help promote you.

I've read your manuscript, liked the story and wish you luck. Don't think your $9.99 ebook price will make a lot of sales so I hope you can get your publisher to lower it.

Jim said...

I thought I'd derail this thread about self promotion and mention that The Sinister Mr. Corpse is a fantastic read. I had the opportunity to read it before it was released and enjoyed it so much I immediately purchased the uploaded edition.

Sorry I don't have a book to promote, a website in my sig, or basically anything tying me to the industry. I'm just a reader. One who appreciates that Jeff, Joe, Scott Nicholson, Bryan Smith, (shall I continue) are putting their books out where I can actually find them, and at a price where I don't have to pick just one a month (small press prices are a bit harsh on the family budget.)

Now, the only problem is finding the time to read them all! Maybe if I stop reading all these damn blogs!

- Jim

Jude Hardin said...

You're stating that if I don't pursue a legacy publisher that I'm crap.

Not at all, Douglas. Please don't put words in my mouth.

I'm seeing more and more decent indie stuff all the time, but the fact remains that the overwhelming majority of it ain't quite up to snuff. Nobody needs to feel insulted, they just need to write better books. Good books have a chance at selling, crappy books don't. That's the way it has always been, and that's the way it always will be.

Jeff Strand said...

Thanks, everyone! Today was my wife's birthday and we spent the day at Disney Quest (where they have almost every 80's arcade game ever made) and anything I post now will be incoherent from overdosing on Frogger, but I'll respond to your comments tomorrow!

David Wood said...

A word of warning- I downloaded it from a pirate site, and thirty minutes later the orphan came to my house and beat me with a rubber hose. Wouldn't leave until I bought it from Smashwords.

shana said...

Speaking of all the shameless self-promotion, I have to say that what sold me on The Sinister Mr. Corpse wasn't the awesome cover or the spectacular product description.

It was the 5-star review Jeff Strand wrote for himself. It was so side-splittingly funny that I just HAD to buy the book. I mean, if someone could make me pee my pants reading a review of their own book how could I NOT like the book itself?

Shana Hammaker
Twelve Terrifying Tales for 2011

Joe Konrath said...

Frogger rocks.

But it ain't Pooyan.

Nicholas La Salla said...

What an awesome post. Jeff's a funny man, and the cover is reminiscent of "A Clockwork Orange" which never hurts. Great title, too.

I laughed out loud throughout pretty much the whole thing. I think I will give this book a try on my Kindle. :-)

As long as we're sharing self promotion, my ghost story e-book One More Day has been published here. It's been a long time coming and it feels great to finally sell the damn thing.

Thank GOD for your blog, J.A. I had a pretty stressing day and reading this has helped blow off quite a bit of steam. :-)

Best,

Nick

Tara Maya said...

I've never noticed any self-promotion here.

Tara Maya
The Unfinished Song: Initiate (US)
The Unfinished Song: Initiate (UK)

Neal Kristopher said...

Man, as much as I love insightful insight into the electric world of e-books it's hilarious hilarity like this that makes my socks go up and down. And zombie books that are also for haters of zombies.

I'm off to buy more $3 books that I can scarcely afford not to buy.

Neal Kristopher - The Department Of Redundancy Department and writer.

S.E. Gordon said...

Promotion aside, the only thing preventing me from purchasing the book is the cover. I'm a big fan of zombies, comedy too, but personally I do not feel the connection with the cover. The fact that you need to be told it's a "dark and twisted comedy" rather than being shown illustrates my point. I do not doubt the author's skill, but the odd cover feels like a wall between me and his work.

Jude Hardin said...

I think the cover is perfect, and the subtitle has an ironic undertone that matches the dark comedy of the text.

Pauline B Jones said...

I hadn't read horror EVER until I "met" Jeff on this screenwriting board. I still can't believe he isn't a famous screenwriter, btw. I could NOT believe what he could make laugh at, so I think I win on being a fan of his work longest, or maybe second longest to his wife? (belated happy birthday!)

And I've been epublished since 1998. And I turned down a "legacy" publisher when I didn't like the deal. And I can order off the senior menu at iHop (actually, still conflicted about that, though the discount is nice).

You can all thank me for inflict-er-launching Jeff on an unsuspecting world by ignoring all the other self promotion and buying my books.

Pauline Baird Jones
www.perilouspauline.com

jeffstrand said...

I should note that I've had books available for the Kindle since there was a Kindle, which led to the following conversations:

JOE: You need to make your books available for the Kindle!

ME: My books ARE available for the Kindle.

[Five minutes later.]

JOE [foaming at the mouth a bit]: You need to make your books available for the Kindle!

ME: My books ARE available for the Kindle.

[Repeat.]

THE SINISTER MR. CORPSE is the first time I've self-published something for the Kindle (and, yes, it's all because of Joe's influence) but you've been able to buy my e-books from Amazon since the days when Joe was saying "Traditional publishing is the only acceptable course of action!"

jeffstrand said...

<>

That comment was completely a joke. MR. CORPSE has lending enabled, and it's not DRM locked. It was meant in the exact same spirit as the comment about getting hit by an ice cream truck.

Joe Konrath said...

You need to make your books available for the Kindle!

jeffstrand said...

<>

Yep, I was Secretary in 2001, and Prez in 2002 and 2003. Obviously, since I was on the board for three years, it wasn't excruciating torture, but I'm DONE with that kind of stuff!

jeffstrand said...

<>

Hanging out with other e-book authors helped. And the whole "They want to publish my work! OMG!!!" attitude, which is why the second Andrew Mayhem book was written specifically for Wordbeams, who only did e-books.

My attitude was always "E-books are the future, but the future's not here yet," so I wanted my books in BOTH print and electronic formats. The only titles of mine that were ever NOT published electronically were a couple of limited edition hardcovers (like THE SINISTER MR CORPSE). I'm self-pubbing the e-book edition of WOLF HUNT next month, and another publisher is doing THE HAUNTED FOREST TOUR, and then my entire library will be on Kindle.

Excluding DRACULAS, THE SINISTER MR. CORPSE is the first time in many years that I've been promoting an "e-book" instead of "a new novel, available in various formats."

Tara Maya said...

Jeff, something you mentioned struck me as very helpful in explaining why so many of my writer friends, the ones who have finished, polished, well-written marketable novels that would sell like hotcakes as ebooks, won't take the plunge. They continue to rewrite and revise their query letter for the umpteenth time, and tend to be the most angry denouncers of self-publishing.

I think the reason is that they know they finally have something worthy of legacy publishing, and they are damned if they are going to let that fish off the hook after years of hard work trying. To suddenly accept that just when your work is good enough to attract the Big 6, they might not be good enough for your work... that's just too mind-bending.

Tara Maya
The Unfinished Song: Initiate (UK)
The Unfinished Song: Initiate (US)

jeffstrand said...

Tara, absolutely. For years and years and years, everybody (including that Konrath guy) was saying "For the love of God, don't self-publish! Do it the traditional way or you're not a real writer!" Now, in a ridiculously short timeframe, things have changed to the point where Joe is saying "If you get offered a $200,000 advance, turn it down and self-publish!"

Now, I would rip out every fingernail on my left hand before I'd turn down a $200,000 advance in favor of self-publishing...but still, it's amazing how quickly the stigma has begun to fade.

So it's easy to see why some authors may be thinking "Wait a minute, I've been working all of this time to publish the 'real' way, and now you're saying I should take the route that everybody scorned? WTF? Are you SURE?"

Selena Kitt said...

Happy belated birthday to your wife, Jeff! I hope there was a healthy dose of Ms. Pacman and Centipede in the mix. And MY personal fav - Galaga. I can still play that game with my eyes closed.

Archangel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Archangel said...

just wanted to mention that Jeff did privately email me with words of writing encouragement for my grandson who is writing comics with heroic characters for kids and families with special needs.

Thanks Jeff for your kind and energetic encouragement to a 'mad writer' 13 year old. Appreciate it. May you continue to be blessed.

dr.cpe

Ecommerce Website Developer said...

Now, I would rip out every fingernail on my left hand before I'd turn down a $200,000 advance in favor of self-publishing...but still, it's amazing how quickly the stigma has begun to fade.