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Publetariat Dispatch: Why Self-Published Authors Know Best – Clone

Publetariat: For People Who Publish!In today’s Publetariat Dispatch, indie author indie author M. Louisa Locke explains why and how indie authors are at the vanguard of publishing.

 

I ran across this quote today, from a post that historical romance novelist Courtney Milan wrote this week as an open letter to agents.

The traditional information storehouse has been inverted. Right now, the people who know the most about self-publishing are authors, and trust me, the vast majority of authors are aware of that. For the first time, authors are having questions about their careers, and their agents are not their go-to people.

While not having an agent, in fact having decided in the fall of 2009 not to look for an agent for my historical mystery, Maids of Misfortune, I can’t really speak to this group’s effectiveness in this new publishing climate. Neither do I want to go into whether or not I think that the decision on the part of some agents to begin to publish their authors’ work has ethical or conflict of interest ramifications. Although the latest brouhaha that just erupted when an agency threatened an author with legal action because she said they were setting up as a digital publisher, when they insisted they were just starting an “assisted self-publishing initiative,” suggests that this question is not going to go away.

What I want to address is Milan’s assertion that authors are the people who know the most about self-publishing. I not only agree, but I would take this one step further. I think that self-published authors may know the most about publishing, period, in this time of expanded ebook publishing and social media marketing.

Let me count just some of the ways:

1. Most self-published authors know about both legacy publishing and self-publishing, which gives them a uniquely broad perspective.

In my experience, most of self-published authors have already had fairly extensive experience with the legacy publishing industry (as traditionally published authors, as authors who have spent years trying to become traditionally published, and as friends of published authors). From this experience we are in a better position to make well-informed decisions about the costs and benefits of both paths to publication, and which path to choose for a given project.

For example, since we understand the lead time it takes to get a book published with a legacy publisher, versus a self-published book, we might choose self-publishing for a non-fiction book that is very time-sensitive, but willingly pursue a legacy publisher for a work of fiction that we feel would do best in print and distributed through brick and mortar stores.

2. Self-published authors were among the first to embrace ebook publishing as their main method of publishing, and therefore they have longer and greater experience in this realm, which is where the market is expanding the fastest.

For most of us the lack of capital meant learning how to format and upload ebooks ourselves, therefore we understand both the relative ease of this process and the importance of it. Even if we decide to pay someone else to do the formatting, our experience helps be better judges of the value of this service.

For example, we would be much less likely to be snookered into paying a high fee to an agent or anyone else for “taking care of” this for us. We understand that while most readers of ebooks are fairly tolerant of an occasional formatting error, they don’t like a lot of white space, including indents that are too large, blank pages, and unnecessary page breaks. We understand the cover design that works on a printed book sitting on a shelf doesn’t work on a thumbnail on the virtual bookshelves of an eretailer or a website, and we have had the chance to experiment to find the most effective covers for our books in this environment.

3. Self-published authors have up-to-date information about sales data, and they can and do share that information.

The turning point for me in making the decision to self-publishing came when I read Joe Konrath’s initial blog postings listing his ebook sales. I finally had the concrete numbers to determine what kind of sales I would need to pay for my capital outlay, and what kind of income I could make, compared to the advance I could expect going the traditional route.

Agents, publishers, even traditionally published authors, are very unwilling to ever talk about numbers, unless, of course, they are talking about a New York Times bestseller. The whole convoluted publishing industry accounting system, the lag in recording royalties (which go through the agent-I mean, what is up with that??), the fear that weak numbers are going to be the kiss of death for achieving the next contract, all work to keep a veil of secrecy. If you are an author this means you may never really understand how many books you sold, when and where you sold them, which covers worked, which price points worked, and which method of delivery got you the most profit.

Self-published authors working through such methods of delivery as CreateSpace for print or KDP or ePubit for ebooks not only have ready access to this sort of information, which is so crucial for designing effective market strategies, but we have no reason not to share this information. I can write that my sales have been lower this summer than in the winter, and not worry that this will hurt the chances that my next book will be published, or marketed aggressively, or reviewed positively. And I can learn from other authors if they are experiencing a similar pattern, and if so, what they are doing about it. This is one of the reasons we knew that ebook readership was going up, that certain price points worked better than others, that the Nook was beginning to claim a significant share of the market, before most of the traditional pundits did.

4. By necessity, self-published authors have had to rely on e-retailers, but this has made them savvy about how best to attract customers in this expanding retail environment.

For example, authors published through legacy publishers are often slow to understand how important it is to get your book into the right category on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. In my experience most traditionally published authors, and their agents and editors, don’t even know that categories had been chosen for their book, and, as with most aspects of publishing (the title, the cover design, the product description), the authors don’t have ultimate control over the final choices. Getting any changes made after publication (in a cover or category or price that doesn’t work) is also difficult.

5. Again by necessity, self-published authors have had to develop alterative methods of marketing—which have made them innovators in using social media for this purpose.

I am still amazed when I read comments by traditionally published authors on various sites saying that their books have just “been put up on Kindle,” and asking if anyone has a suggestion how to market those books. Obviously neither their agents or their editors have had much to say on the subject, beyond “set up a website.” Not surprisingly, it is self-published authors that seemed to give the most detailed advice in response to these queries. See Rob Walker’s huge thread on KDP community forum.

6. Self-published authors are going to continue to be the innovators in publishing, no matter what the future holds, and therefore the best source of information.

We have to be innovators, because we don’t rely on anyone else-not agent or editor-to ensure our books are out there and being read. Two years ago, when I researched self-publishing, Amazon’s Kindle and Smashwords, were the two major ways open to me to independently upload my book. Since then Barnes and Noble’s ePubit, Google Editions, Kobo and many other companies have made it possible for independent authors to publish on their sites. In addition, while the iPad’s ibook store has been slow to expand, more and more people are downloading books, often using the Kindle or other aps, not only to the iPad, but more often than not to the iPhone or other similar devices. Traditional publishers are forced to deal with each of these changes slowly, often with protracted negotiations, which slows their authors’ access to these venues. Self-published authors were able to respond immediately to these changes, as they will be able to do with what ever new twist the ebook or print on demand aspects of the industry takes.

Self-authors are intrinsically less conservative than people who work within the legacy publishing industry, where risks can ruin a career. An agent who takes on too many cutting edge writers and can’t sell their books, an editor whose choices don’t make back the authors advances, the author whose sales don’t pan out, all risk losing their business, their jobs, and their next contract. The motivation, therefore, is to choose authors and books that either fit this year’s trend (no matter that by the time the book comes out the trend may have peaked), or fit squarely into a niche market, and aren’t too long, or too short. Self-published authors have the choice to take risks, because they answer to no one but themselves and their readers.

7. Finally, I believe that most authors are going to become self-published authors, and therefore will remain the major source of information about self-publishing. Not because they are all going to leave legacy publishing, but because more and more authors are going to see self-publishing as one of their options over their career.

Practically every author I have ever known has an idea for a book or a manuscript squirreled away, or a short story or novella they have written, that they either had failed to sell to a legacy publisher, or simply never tried to write or sell, because they knew that this work wouldn’t be acceptable. These ideas, these works, now can see the light of day. The market may turn out to be small for any particular work, but if you have written something that pleases you, that you as a reader would like to read, and you can self-publish that work and watch as people buy it, review it, and email you about it, the satisfaction is enormous.

I spoke to a college journalism class this spring about the possibilities of self-publishing, and a young man came up to me afterwards, all enthusiastic, and he told me that I had given him hope. His father had tried to discourage him from pursuing a career as a writer, telling him it would be years and years, and maybe never, that his work would ever see print. I had just told him what he had written already, what he chose to write next month, could be out there being read in a few days time.

This is one of the reasons that agents or publishers who try to lock authors into exclusive clauses, or manipulate print on demand to keep hold of copyright, are simply going to drive even more of their authors into self-publishing. Once an author has been exposed to the liberating belief that all of their work can get in print, and all the work that is good, will get to be read, they will not go back to telling themselves that the gatekeepers were saving them from the awful mistake of publishing a bad book, and that the favorite quirky cross genre manuscript they wrote really is better off never being read by anyone.

Does this mean the end of agents or publishers? Of course not. But it does mean that those people in the traditional publishing industry who continue to hold self-published authors in contempt, who continue to try to argue that all authors and all published books should go through their doors to get to the reader, who fail to turn to their authors and their readers for advice, are going to find themselves losing out in the future.


This is a reprint from M. Louisa Locke‘s site.

KND Kindle Nation Bargain Book Alert! And Now, a Book Just for the Parents of the 85% of New College Grads Who Are Back Home with Their Parents!

According to Newsweek, 85 % of  new college graduates are back home with their parents because they can’t get jobs. That’s huge! How horribly sad for them. And their parents. But who thinks about the parents? Shouldn’t somebody?

Adam Mansbach’s book, GO THE F*** TO SLEEP, opened the door to something new in American culture—having the courage to express parental frustration in a loving, yet humorous way. You laughed so hard because it was what you secretly thought but never had the nerve to say.

Nowadays, nearly every older parent pushes her darling chick out of the nest only to get her back the minute the kid’s room has morphed into Mom’s meditation hall. Good-bye peace and quiet! I saw what was happening all around me, and it wasn’t a crying need for better lullabies. My friends were all wannabe empty nesters. So I felt the need to speak up for my generation.

Hence, GO TH F*** AWAY, an unabashed parody of Mansbach’s book for parents of boomerang kids. It’s illustrated with Elizabeth Lareau’s spot-on pen-and-ink cartoons and makes a charming  99 cent gift for 85 % of your friends.  Buy it here! (Preview it here.) Highly recommended by some of today’s most famous dead and fictional parents! Even one who’s undead.

“First I make her immortal and then I keep her around for sixty years. And what does she do? She tries to kill me! Where was this book when I needed it?”  The Vampire Lestat, father of Claudia

“We never saw a night alone. We never had coffee a deux. Yet we know how other parents live, and what peace and quiet must be.” Mr. and Mrs. Edward Dickinson, parents of Emily

“The cat’s not the only one up here on the damn roof! It’s the only place Big Daddy and I can get way from Brick and Maggie’s screamin’ fights. Guess what we’re readin’ up here?”  Big Mama, mother of Brick

“This is the story of my life! Whydaya think I drink so much?“ Mrs. Irene Reilly, mother of Ignatius

“Five daughters still at home? FIVE?? The only time we ever smile is while reading this book.” Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, parents of Elizabeth

“My Howie wouldn’t just go and get his Ph.D  and NOW look! What the hell would I do without this book?”  Mrs. Wolowitz, mother of Howard

Go the F*** Away

by booksbnimble
4.5 stars – 2 Reviews
Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
When the innocent days of early parenthood have passed—those in which the worst thing your kid could throw at you was the daily refusal to close those baby blues at bedtime—stronger language is called for than “go to sleep, my darling.” Some days, the truly mature parent–the one who wishes he’d seen it all but keeps getting surprised—just wants to holler GO THE F*** AWAY! The sly and devious folk at booksBnimble have zeroed in on that, following a pair of hapless parents as they suffer through their kid’s first arrest, first college graduation, subsequent degree collections, first wedding, first divorce, second wedding, and frequent freeloading. All in twenty pages. Pen-and-ink illustrations by Elizabeth Lareau. An unabashed parody of Adam Mansbach’s hilarious parody of sappy beddy-bye books, this is GO THE F**K TO SLEEP for the empty-nester wannabe.
(This is a sponsored post.)

KND Kindle Free Book Alert for Thursday, September 29: FIVE (5) BRAND NEW FREEBIES in the last 24 hours added to our 1,100 FREE TITLES Sorted by Category, Date Added, Bestselling or Review Rating! plus … Enter an eerie world of dark magic with Simon Dale’s THE HOUSE OF SHERBET (Today’s Sponsor, Just 99 Cents!)

Powered by our magical Kindle free book tool, here are this morning’s latest additions to our 1,100+ Kindle Free Book listings….
But first, a word from ... Today's Sponsor
The House of Sherbet is a fun fantasy/supernatural book for children-young adults.
The House of Sherbet
by Simon Dale
4.0 stars - 2 reviews
Supports Us with Commissions Earned
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here's the set-up:
Thirteen year old Jake spends Christmas with his parents at the Oakhouse, the once grand, now decrepit home to his grandfather. Jake quickly begins to realise that the Oakhouse and Granddad Sherbet are not all they seem. On Christmas Eve, Jake's parents disappear, only to reappear six inches tall and having been turned to wood. 

Granddad Sherbet, together with his octogenarian friends, prepares to steal Jake's youth and nascent magical powers.
One Reviewer Notes:
Simon Dale can weave an excellent tale of young adult horror and the supernatural. With strange wooden people brought to life, a dilapidated old house that radiates power, an ancient tree that holds secrets, and creepy old men bent on taking over the country, the main character's world as he knows it explodes around him and he is caught up in a fight for his life. As the story unfolds, The House of Sherbet grows into a nail-biting tale that makes you want to keep turning the page to see what happens next.
Bonnie Lamer, Author
UK CUSTOMERS: Click on the title below to download
The House of Sherbet
Each day’s list is sponsored by one paid title. We encourage you to support our sponsors and thank you for considering them.
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Eleven-year-old Elise converses with animals.Her twin brother, Frankie, unwittingly opens portals to other worlds. As if fitting in with their strange abilities at St. Dominic’s Children’s Home wasn’t hard enough, sinister men appear one day in search of the twins.Aided by their formidable...
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He’s a man without the Christmas Spirit. She’s a single mother trying to make the best of it for her two kids. One special wish brings these jaded souls together.The magic of Christmas has been lost to Jacob Winston. At the suggestion of his ill sister, he takes a job as a Secret Santa at the...
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The Secret Santa Wishing Well
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A ruthless billionaire determined to get revenge.A woman with more to lose than her virginity.And a sensual game that will break them both.Gabriel Miller has thirty days to do anything he wants with her body. He can enjoy every inch of her, but he can never let himself fall for her. No matter how...
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"Sexy and heart-wrenchingly powerful, TEMPT ME LIKE THIS will make you cheer, laugh and cry." ~ 5 starsAs one of the biggest rock stars in the business, Drew Morrison can have anything—and anyone—he wants. Only Ashley Emmit, who has joined his tour to work on a college research project, is...
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Piper Sandstone, a newly promoted detective on the Chicago police force, is dressed to kill. And bad things are about to go down.When three dirty cops are suspected of a crime, Piper finds herself going undercover to get intel to put them behind bars.How will she lure the officers in and get them...
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Kindle Nation Daily Bargain Book Alert: Nicole Persun’s A KINGDOM’S POSSESSION is our eBook of the Day at Just 99 Cents with 7 out of 8 Rave Reviews, and Here’s a Free Sample!

Here’s the set-up for Nicole Persun’s A Kingdom’s Possession, just 99 Cents on Kindle:

A Kingdom’s Possession blends ancient magic, love and intrigue in a romantic fantasy told in a fresh new voice.

A wayward prince, his twin brother, a mystical woman of fire, and an escaped slave band together to free an outcast goddess – if they can elude a powerful rogue kingdom intent on their destruction.

Max, a young woman who has just escaped a life of slavery, finds herself at the heart of a heated rebellion and a complicated legend. As the kingdom of Alice seeks power among the realms, a flawed goddess is thrown from the heavens and forced to reside inside Max’s body.

The king of Alice, lusting for the rewards the goddess will grant upon the kingdom that releases her from her human cage, sends spies to capture Max and release the goddess in the most ruthless way: through death. Will Max and her friends solve the magical riddle before her pursuers? And what of her budding love for the prince? A captivating tale of love, freedom, and choices.

From the reviewers:

This debut novel is truly enchanting and I certainly look forward to reading more from this author. Told from a dual first person perspective, the characters are so clearly and fully developed that you can truly relate to them and their struggles as well as their victories in a fantasy world.  All in all a wonderful read.  –  Susan Abbott

A Kingdom’s Possession is a light, enjoyable read and it is very impressive that the author is so young. –  MJ

… a fun, easy read with a captivating plot. The fantastical elements (the world, magic system, and cultures) were presented in a believable and enchanting manner. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys books with good plot arcs and interesting character development, particularly younger readers. – Susan Flanagan

I loved it.  I really enjoyed this book and the adventures caught my imagination. Plenty of twists as well as suspense and tension make this book hard to put down. The characters are formulated really well and easy to fall in love with. A worthwhile read. I look forward to reading this authors next books.  –  K. Norvell

Nicole is a Fantasy writer who lives on a small farm in the Pacific Northwest. She started seriously writing when she was 13, signed her first contract when she was 16, and has no reason to stop writing now.
“I write to explore, to transport myself somewhere new, and uncover the complex minds of my characters. It keeps me sane.” For more information about Nicole, visit her site at www.nicolejpersun.com

plus … Don’t Miss Today’s Kindle Daily Deal!



 

Kindle Nation Bargain Book Alert – The Superuser: A Grisham Stark Poker Murder Mystery (Action Suspense Thriller) by Collin Moshman, Katie Dozier – 4.8 stars on 5 Straight Rave Reviews, Just $2.99 on Kindle!

From a best-selling poker author team comes The Superuser, a new $2.99 five-star reviewed thriller for the readers of John Grisham, John Locke, Simon Wood, Michael Prescott, and Dan Brown.

by Collin Moshman, Katie Dozier
4.8 stars – 5 Reviews<%title%>” width=”162″ height=”216″ /></a></div>
<div><a href=Kindle Price: $2.99
Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

When a punk poker superstar loses millions in a mysterious game, he hires disgraced champion and ex-cop Grisham Stark to investigate. As Stark confronts cold-blooded players in Monte Carlo and Las Vegas, he realizes his one shot at redemption is to catch the most dangerous poker cheat of all time: the Superuser.

Behind the scenes, a politician is hijacking the scandal to wage a legislative battle in Washington. A beautiful female player is blackmailed into hiding a deadly secret that threatens to unravel the entire deception, and the ruthless Superuser is killing anyone who dares stand in his way.

Grisham Stark will ultimately face a terrifying question: Is the Superuser’s final goal far more than money?

The Superuser Reviews on Amazon:
“It is hands-down the fastest paced thriller I’ve ever read.”
“A definite page-turner.”
“I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good mystery (or action, or suspense!).”
“I’m so glad I read this book – it was great.”

About the Authors:
Collin Moshman and Katie Dozier are a husband and wife writing team as well as professional poker players. Collin is the best-selling author of poker strategy books edited by Katie, including Sit ‘n Go Strategy, Heads-Up No-Limit Hold ‘Em, and The Math of Hold ‘Em. Both authors write popular blogs on their personal websites.

(This is a sponsored post.)

Now Available for Pre-Order: Amazon Launches the Kindle Tablet – It’s the KINDLE FIRE, for just $199!

Now Available for Pre-Order:

Amazon Launches the Kindle Tablet:
It’s the KINDLE FIRE!

 

By Steve Windwalker

September 28, 2011

 

Click here to pre-order your Kindle Fire

 

Amazon has just announced that, at long last, its Kindle tablet — the Kindle Fire — is now available for pre-order. You can place your pre-order right here, right now to have it shipped starting November 15 for a price of just $199.

 

How’s this for a value proposition? Amazon announced 4 new Kindle models today, and you can buy all four of them for less than the cost of a 32GB wi-fi only iPad.

 

Here’s the rest of the story on the new device:

  • What is the new Kindle tablet called? The Kindle Fire.
  • How much does the Kindle Fire cost? $199
  • When is the Kindle Fire available for pre-order? Right now.
  • When will the Kindle Fire ship? Starting November 15.
  • Will it sell out before Christmas? We won’t be surprised if it sells out this week, but if that happens it should be available again within a few weeks.
  • How should one balance one’s reservations about buying version 1.0 of the Kindle Fire with the fear that one may be left behind if it goes out of stock. Amazon’s no-hassle, no-questions-asked 30-day return policy makes this a no-brainer. Grab it, test-drive it, and make your decision at the 25-day mark, two weeks before Christmas. We’ll be very surprised if you don’t want to keep it, but if you don’t want it and Amazon does sell out, you might even end up being able to decide whether to return it to Amazon or to sell it for a profit on eBay.
  • Is the tablet the only product that is being announced with this event? No, Amazon also announced a $139 e-Ink Kindle Touch with a touch screen (just $99 with special offers) and a $79 base model e-Ink Kindle. These all ship at various points in November and are available for pre-order today.
  • How large is the Kindle Fire display? 7 inches on the diagonal, and yes, it is color and backlit with capacitative touch.
  • How much does the Kindle Fire weigh? 14.6 ounces.
  • What’s the battery life? It’s be a little hard to get a handle on this given the different effects on battery life of reading, listening to music, watching streaming video, websurfing, and other uses, but if you are going to get full enjoyment from the Kindle Fire you’ll probably find yourself charging the battery at least as often as you charge your cellphone.
  • Does it come with 3G? No, but we won’t be surprised to see a 3G or 4G option in 2012.
  • If Amazon is selling a tablet for $199, a touch Kindle for $99, and a base model Kindle for $79, how can it possibly make a profit? Covers, content, e-commerce, and special offers sponsorships.
  • As a content delivery system, what are the Kindle Fire’s areas of strength? The Kindle Fire will allow seamless, wireless delivery from the cloud of Kindle books and periodicals, Amazon MP3 music files, Audible.com books, streaming movies and television programs with Amazon Prime Instant Video, and a wide range of Android-compatible Apps available from Amazon’s own AppStore for Android.
  • What about YouTube, email, VOiP, Angry Birds, Facebook, Twitter, texting, web browsing, word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, blog posting, gaming, Groupon, LivingSocial, Woot, Windowshop, Amazon Mobile, Amazon Local, Amazon Fresh, and everything else you’ll ever want to do on the Kindle Fire? In just about every case, there’s an app for that.
  • Is the Kindle Fire essentially a closed environment controlled by its manufacturer, like the iPad and the Nook? Essentially yes, but operationally it may be far more open than those competitors, given selection and pricing in Amazon’s content platforms, the growing scale of Amazon’s AppStore for Android and the easy access that content providers have to platforms such as Kindle Digital Publishing and, ultimately, Amazon’s MP3 and video platforms. 
  • What’s the unlikeliest word that we can expect to hear repeated by Jeff Bezos and his minions as they describe the Kindle Fire in the next few days? Best guess: “Sofa.” As in shopping on the sofa, reading on the sofa, watching movies on the sofa, etc. This is probably not a good thing for the future of laptops, notebooks, netbooks, and even some other tablets.
  • What special “value proposition” features might be bundled with the Kindle Fire to entice buyers. Best guess: free or cheap Amazon Prime, a $79 a year value that would underline importance of the Kindle Fire as the sofa shopper’s favorite gadget.
  • So which is it, a content delivery device or a sofa shopping portal? Both, but if the Kindle Fire’s primary uses list too much away from ebooks and toward shopping, a nice countervailing value proposition would involve the offering of some form of a Netflix-type bundling of free ebooks to steer folks toward reading.

But here’s the bottom line for the Kindle Fire:

 

There is an understandable tendency, when new products like the Kindle, the iPad, and the Kindle Fire are launched, for many of us to focus too narrowly at first on hardware specs and feature sets. It is important to remember that it wasn’t only hardware features that set the Kindle Revolution aflame, it was Amazon’s remarkable edge in each of the 4 C’s of customer base, catalog, convenience and connectivity. The Kindle capitalized dramatically on each of those unfair edges, and so will the Kindle Fire.

 

No single competitor can touch Amazon in more than one of these areas.

 

KND Kindle Free Book Alert for Wednesday, September 28: SIX (6) BRAND NEW FREEBIES in the last 24 hours added to our 1,100 FREE TITLES Sorted by Category, Date Added, Bestselling or Review Rating! plus … Immerse Yourself in Gary Ponzo’s Phenomenally Popular NICK BRACCO Series (Today’s Sponsor, 96 out of 101 Rave Reviews, Just 99 Cents Each!)

Powered by our magical Kindle free book tool, here are this morning’s latest additions to our 1,100+ Kindle Free Book listings….

But first, a word from … Today’s Sponsor

Find out why his fellow authors say “Gary Ponzo is simply the best new thriller writer out there.”
by Gary Ponzo
4.7 stars – 72 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
Winner of the Southwest Writers Novel Contest, Thriller category!FBI agent Nick Bracco can’t stop a Kurdish terrorist from firing missiles at random homes across the country. The police can’t stand watch over every household, so Bracco recruits his cousin Tommy to help track down this terrorist. Tommy is in the Mafia. Oh yeah, it gets messy fast. As fast as you can turn the pages. Writer/Director Stephen Carpenter said, “Couldn’t put it down and now I want more. Bravo.” Judith L. Pearson author of “Wolves at the Door,” and “Belly of the Beast,” said, “Gary Ponzo is simply the best new thriller writer out there.”
One Reviewer Notes:

“A Touch of Deceit by Gary Ponzo is an excellent action & adventure story that will keep the reader turning the pages. Nick Bracco of the FBI is part of the agency’s counter terrorism team. Once again faced with an old nemesis, he is quickly drawn into a familiar role, only this time he is trying to prevent Kurd militants from completing a devastating terror mission within the United States. Fifty explosions kill innocent Americans, one explosion in each state, but that is only the opening strike in a devastating plot. When Nick’s brother is kidnapped by the terrorist, Nick realizes he needs help. To get it done, he recruits his cousin, Tommy Bracco, a local mob member, to help with the case. Soon the mob gets very actively involved. Things get interesting very quickly. I can highly recommend this book. This is a terrific story and well worth the read. The characters are straightforward. The dialogue is great and the plot is tight. The action scenes are excellent and very realistic. The cast of characters is outstanding, from Nick’s partner to the president of the USA to the other FBI agents and of course, the Mafia soldiers. The story has nice surprises both good and bad. The author has created a wonderful story, and crafted an adventure thriller with many twists and turns and a satisfying ending. He skillfully weaves a story where the Mafia culture blends with the FBI as they try to overcome major differences of philosophy to work together to solve a deadly terrorist plot. The story is packed with fast-paced action along with a mixture of contemporary issues, and a touch of humor as well. Excellent. ”

Readers Favorite, Vine Voice
And when you finish the opener you’ll want to keep right on reading with the sequel….

A Touch of Revenge (A Nick Bracco Thriller)

by Gary Ponzo
4.8 stars – 29 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
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From Award-Winning author Gary Ponzo comes the sequel to the wildly successful thriller, A Touch of Deceit. FBI agent Nick Bracco heads an elite group of anti-terrorist specialists known as The Team. When his team members start showing up dead, Nick suspects a Kurdish terrorist who has revenge on his mind. As the terrorist closes in, Nick resorts to using an unconventional weapon–his cousin Tommy. Tommy has a quick wit and valuable connections throughout the Mafia. Sometimes even the bad guys can be patriots.
“This is a wild and exciting ride.” Bob Moats, author of the Jim Richards Murder Novels
“Gary Ponzo’s thrillers are so powerful, the government should consider using them as a renewable source of energy.” John Locke, #1 bestselling author of the Donovan Creed series.
About the Author
Author Gary Ponzo began his writing career over a decade ago by writing short stories. He quickly discovered a knack for the short form. In just five years he
Author Gary Ponzo began his writing career over a decade ago by writing short stories. He quickly discovered a knack for the short form. In just five years he’d published seven short stories in various publications, two of which were nominated for the very prestigious Pushcart Prize. His first novel, “A Touch of Deceit,” took five years to write and one to pick clean. The story was born from his childhood experiences working in his father’s candy store in Brooklyn, NY. His father was Sicilian and became friendly with some local members of a different kind of Sicilian family. Since Gary was just fifteen at the time, these family members would make sure he was protected whenever he would work late at night by himself. He soon discovered a side to the mafia not many people knew. It was these relationships which caused him to write about Sicilian FBI agent, Nick Bracco, who recruits his mafia cousin to chase down the world’s most feared terrorist. “A Touch of Deceit,” went on to win the 2009 Southwest Writers Novel Contest, Thriller category. He is working on the sequel to the novel as well as continuing to publish his short stories. Gary currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife Jennifer and two children, Jessica and Kyle.
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A Touch of Deceit (Nick Bracco Series #1)
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