Indie Books at Big Discounts: The Smashwords Sale

Here’s a bargain-priced way to discover new authors: the Smashwords 2022 End of Year Sale. You’ll find substantial discounts on thousands of titles throughout December. Go to https://smashwords.com/shelves/promos Search by author name or explore by genre. The Smashwords store is the largest indie bookstore on the internet. Have fun shopping!

(And yes, my books are there—at 50% off, thanks to Draft2Digital teaming up with Smashwords.)

#SmashwordsEOYSale #smashwords #ebook #sale #books2read #indiebooks

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#Sale Shaman’s Blues PAPERBACK $4.23 on Amazon!

Ever wished paperbacks were as cheap as e-books? Amazon has discounted brand new copies of Shaman’s Blues to $4.23. If you were thinking of buying the e-book from them, please buy the paperback instead. Take a free trial of Prime and get free shipping. Snag a few copies as gifts. Tell friends about the sale. I have no idea how long this #discount will last. Amazon must be losing money on it.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1544708130

Are you confused? If you know me, you know I publish my books widely, read e-books on a Nook, and don’t promote Amazon. So why am I urging you to buy the paperback (and not the Kindle edition) from them, especially when their price is the same for both the e-book and the paperback?

Because …

Amazon’s rules allow them to lower the e-book royalty when they are price-matching another store (which is not the case) or matching their own price for the physical copy.

I normally would get $3.42 in royalties for the e-book, but they’re paying $2.90. At this unexciting 76-cent discount, the e-book is selling at the same rate it would at its normal $4.99 price, which means I’m earning less for the same number of sales, i.e. $52.00 less per hundred sales.

Perhaps they think this is a good strategy for them, because I sell a fair number of e-books on their site, but not many paperbacks. It’s not a good strategy for me. If I want to sell the e-book at a lower price, I’ll drop it to 99 cents for a week and promote it all over the place. $4.23 is not an incentivizing sort of price for an e-book.

But it’s a huge bargain for a paperback!

What would happen if hundreds of people ordered the $4.23 paperback? So far, Amazon is paying the full royalty on the paperback, $3.77 for the $4.23 book. The printing cost is $5.22. By their own choice, Amazon loses $4.76 for each paperback sale. If 100 people buy it at $4.23, Amazon will lose $476.00. Will they notice? If a thousand people buy it, they’ll lose a lot more. Will they put the price back to $14.99? If they do, their rules will require them to pay me the full royalty on the e-book.

If I get no results on their pricing, you’ll still get an inexpensive paperback copy of an award-winning mystery, and that’s a win. I hope you enjoy it.

Shaman’s Blues

The second Mae Martin psychic mystery

On the eve of her move to New Mexico, psychic and healer Mae Martin gets a double-edged going-away gift: beautiful music by a man who’s gone missing, and a request to find him. In her new home town, she quickly runs afoul of a questionable psychic who runs a health food restaurant. When Mae confronts her, the woman disappears—either to Santa Fe, or into another dimension. Now Mae has two missing persons on her hands. Finding them may prove easier than learning the truth about either or getting one of them, once found, to go away again.

The Mae Martin Series

No murder, just mystery. Every life hides a secret, and love is the deepest mystery of all.

Review: The Case of the Tangled Maypole by Anna Castle

Fairy tales have both magic and shadows. When supernatural  beings affect human actions and perceptions, justice gets complicated. In this historical cozy mystery featuring a healer or cunning woman in the small English village of Ayreford, fairies are real, and can be both helpful or malevolent. Changelings, talking animals, and other magical phenomena are part of life for Jane Moone,  whose father is a wizard. Her efforts to solve a murder at the village Maypole involve investigation into ordinary humans’ motives and also the actions of fairies. She collaborates in sleuthing with attorney John Greenslade, son of the justice of the peace, and their relationship provides a romantic subplot for the series. (I anticipate some intriguing revelations  from John in future books. Hope I’m right!) This novella is paced with a range of intensities from gentle to terrifying and everything in between, making it hard to put down. Well-crafted and utterly original.

Short and Sweet, Quick and Quirky, and #Free

The Outlaw Women is free on all e-book retailers through July 15th.

Folk healer and seer Rhoda-Sue Outlaw Jackson knows her time on earth is running out when she hears the voice of her late husband telling her she has only but so many heartbeats left. She’s had a troubled relationship with her daughter, and has little hope of passing on her extraordinary gifts, either to this difficult daughter or to her granddaughter. With the final hour around the corner, she brings her family together for one more try. Can she leave the world at peace with them, as well as with her legacy?

This prequel to the Mae Martin Psychic Mystery Series introduces Mae at age ten, as seen through the eyes of her grandmother.

Review: Cargo by D.V. Berkom

 

Leine Basso travels to Thailand and Tanzania in her anti-trafficking work, under circumstances that require her to forge an alliance with an Afrikaner poacher, a complex and fascinating rogue. A tightly structured page-turner with vivid settings and compelling characters, Cargo deals with some of the worst in human behavior: cruelty to fellow humans and to wildlife, motivated by greed. The harm to animals takes place offstage—the reader isn’t forced to watch—but the aftermath is tragic and appalling, and the scenes detailing a trafficking victim’s ordeal haunted me. This is an intense read, but I still recommend it. The last line troubled me, though. It’s closure, full-circle justice of a sort, but it’s disturbing, too—not healing.

Review: Bewaji’s Ankara Adventures (The Aso-Ebi Chronicles, #1) by Sharon Abimbola Salu

I was delighted to discover yet another mystery novella with no murder. Not that I don’t enjoy the ones with murders, but there are so many varieties of crime, why not investigate something else for change? And this one is a humorous cozy without cuteness or quaintness, too. With an urban Nigerian setting, it’s truly different.

I loved the main character, Bewaji. She gets lucky in her inquiries, but the luck is plausible, she’s aware of it, and she uses it to do some sleuthing. Though the book is written in the third person, the narrative voice is clearly hers, as much inside her head as the usual first-person cozy narration. And Bewaji is funny. Any book that can make me laugh out loud is a winner.

Review: Low Tide at Tybee by James M. Jackson

James M. Jackson proves you can tell a compelling crime story without death or violence. In this novella, Seamus McCree is on vacation with his eighty-something mother and his six-year-old granddaughter. He hopes to buy a beach condo that can be a vacation home for all generations of the family. In the process, Seamus uncovers a clever and costly criminal scheme, which is just one layer of a complex plot. Megan, his granddaughter, also has concerns about crime, when a suspicious character rifles through her great-grandmother’s bag on the beach. Both the child and the elder are portrayed with full humanity, no clichés or cuteness. It was great to spend time with Seamus again, a likeable sleuth whose weapons are intelligence, creativity, and knowledge. His narrative voice is natural and readable, a guy you’d enjoy getting to know. Series fans or newcomers can enjoy this story.

Review: Planting Pearls by Virginia King

This intriguing novella is the perfect prologue to The First Lie, the first full-length novel in the Selkie Moon series. In Planting Pearls, the reader meets Selkie when she’s taken her first daring steps to reclaim her life from a controlling, psychologically abusive husband. At this point she’s still half-way between the person she was and the one she’s becoming, her true self. The author does a brilliant job in going back to this point in her protagonist’s life with insight and authenticity. It made me realize how much Selkie matures and develops through the series.

The mystery of a possible ghost at an old house in Hawaii intertwines—in the synchronistic, mysterious way things do for Selkie—with her talent for communicating and motivating, her personal journey, and also the initial hints of her psychic gift. The mix of folklore and ceremonies as well as modern life in Honolulu is irresistible. I loved seeing how Selkie’s friendship with Derek Delaney, a key character in the series, began. As always, Selkie is part of a circle, a network, not the go-it-alone type but someone whose nature is to make bonds. The twists in the plot kept coming long after I thought all the questions had been answered. Though some tragic events are woven through the plot, the story is about healing and reintegration for Selkie and for the people associated with the troubled house.

 

Review: What She Fears by Jane Gorman

This is the best so far in this series. Suspenseful, intriguing, and remarkably spare, the story is psychologically intense without needing violence to raise the stakes. The structure of the narrative reminded me of a well-made movie. I was fascinated by the choices the author made for point of view, and what to reveal and how. The suspects are numerous, evasive, and uncooperative. The manner in which Adam Kaminski gets involved in a murder investigation in Ireland seems like bad luck at first, but as his initial reason for the journey begins to collapse painfully, the chance to help solve someone else’s problem when he can’t solve his own gives him purpose and people to care about. As always in Gorman’s books, the setting is vivid and yet not over described, blended perfectly into each scene without a wasted word, and the characters are complex and memorable. I guessed early on who the killer was, but this didn’t spoil the story for me. I kept wondering if I was wrong, considering other possible suspects with equally strong motives.

The subplots relating to each of the point-of-view characters—Adam, the Irish detective superintendent investigating the death, and an archaeology professor with a complicated professional and private life—intersected with the mystery plot smoothly. While I wanted to know more about Adam’s personal life events, I admire the author’s choice to keep those scenes to a deft minimum, just enough to let a reader empathize and understand, but not enough to take the focus off the central question.

I look forward to more Adam Kaminski mysteries.