Monday, December 31, 2012

The Current State of Indie Publishing

And so we come to the end of another year.  Time to think back a little bit about the one just past, and the state of "indie" publishing.  It seems as though the amount of content out there really is becoming enormous!  It is certainly getting to be harder and harder for a book to stand out amongst the crowd.

Maybe the biggest story in "indie" publishing this past year, as far as I can see, is that there doesn't seem to have been any one big story.  In 2010 the story was Amanda Hocking becoming the first self-published author to sell over a million e-books.  In 2011 it was John Locke selling a million+ on Amazon alone.  In 2012 it seems to me that the biggest story was the revelation that Locke actually got his first big push after he paid a service to generate fake reviews.

But who were the big, knock the ball out of the park, bestsellers among "indie" authors in 2012?  I don't know.  There are still plenty of authors making a decent living at it, but there also seem to be more and more that are struggling to find an audience.  That is certainly true in my case.

I know it is comparing apples to oranges in many ways, but this time last year I did a three-day free promo for my romance book, No Cure for the Broken Hearted.  In those three days I gave away 18,000 copies.  I had similar results when I gave away copies of the novel now called Tinseltown Blues earlier in 2011.  I think I had around 50,000 downloads in five days on that one.  Both promos led to healthy sales going forward for several weeks afterwards.

This year I released my first suspense novel, Natalia.  I promoted it just as hard as the other two, but sales have been virtually non-existent.  I sold about ten copies in the first three months, mostly to friends and family.  Earlier this week I had a three day free promo for Natalia.  In those three days, the book had about 250 downloads.  Compared to 6,000 per day, that's a big difference, even with the genre switch.

I'm still optimistic, despite the rough waters.  I'm proud of Natalia and think that it will find an audience eventually.  I'm also hard at work on a memoir that I think is going to be really good.  It's coming along well so far, anyway... 

So 2012 wasn't quite the breakout year I'm always hoping for, but being the eternal optimist, I'm looking forward to good things in 2013.  And to everyone out there in cyber space, have a great New Year!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Natalia - Free for Kindle

Happy Holidays to all!  In the spirit of Christmas I've decided to give away my latest novel, Natalia, for the next three days, December 27, 28 and 29.  You can pick up a copy on or, or any other local Amazon site.

Thanks, and for anyone who decides to give it a read, I hope you like it!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas from Budapest!

I was out and about today in Budapest, the first day of the year that we've had snow actually sticking on the ground.  Just in time for Christmas!  I also wandered through the Christmas market on Vorosmarty Square, where I snapped this shot of Santa Claus.

Happy holidays to all, wherever in the world you may be!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Berlin in Winter

As winter officially kicks off I'm still here in Europe, enjoying the holiday season.  It's the first time I've stuck it out on this continent into the winter, actually.  Usually I high tail it back to warmer climes by this time of year!  And I'm actually heading to Thailand in January, but in the meantime I spent last weekend in Berlin, so I thought I'd post a few photos here:

Checkpoint Charlie

Tiergarten Park

Berlin Wall remnant

Church at Mariannen Platz

Holocaust Memorial

I hope everyone out there is enjoying the holidays.  In the spirit of Christmas, I'm planning to make my latest novel, Natalia, free for three days next week, the 27th to 29th of December.  So anyone who hasn't picked it up yet can check back here for the link!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Memoir Minute: What surfing means to me

These days I'm busy working on a memoir, tentatively titled, Memoirs of a Starving Artist, all about my time as a struggling writer and the funny stories that I have to share.  I figured I'd start posting some very short snippets from whatever I'm working on at any given time.  Here's my latest paragraph, all about what surfing means to me:

"Unlike team sports, surfing is more of a personal journey. It is a direct connection between the surfer and the sea.  Surfers describe it sometimes in spiritual terms.  This might seem hyperbolic to those who don’t surf themselves, but launching yourself into a rolling wave that has travelled thousands of miles across the open ocean puts one in tune with the rhythms of nature in a way that few other sports can match."

I'll try to keep this up as a regular feature here on the blog.  An easy way to update it from time to time. :-)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas lights are up!

A happy holiday season to everyone out there!  Here in Budapest, the Christmas lights went on yesterday throughout the city, bathing the streets in a bit of holiday cheer.  Here's a picture from my balcony looking down Vaci street:

We should be getting even more in the spirit this week as the first significant snowfall of the year is expected to start falling tomorrow!