There are some really great novels coming out in the next few months. Here are some of my favorite traditionally published authors and then a few indie authors that I have yet to read but am willing to take a chance on.
Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld
Dreadnought by Cherie Priest
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
All three of these books I will be ordering from my local bookstore in paper format. At a time when I’m moving more and more of my fiction and non-fiction reading to the Kindle and or Droid, I will be purchasing these books in paper. In the case of Behemoth, Westerfeld’s first novel in this series was so beautifully done, I can’t not get it in paper. The same goes for Cherie Priest’s book. I have all of her steampunk novels in paper. In the case of Shades of Milk and Honey, I really love Mary Robinette Kowal’s short fiction pieces; and I think she’s a rising star in the genre so buying her first novel in paper is a show of support for her to her publisher.
As for my Kindle reading, I’m looking at SF authors who are not traditionally published but are doing well on Amazon. Kind of like myself.
Dominate Species by Michael E. Marks
First Light Chronicles Omnibus by Randolph Lalonde
A Galaxy Unknown by Thomas DePrima
I know very little about these authors or their books, other than what I’ve read on the Amazon pages. I simply picked the ones that looked interesting to me and also appeared on the best seller lists along with my book.
I’m reading The Long Tail by Chris Anderson and have been thinking about how us long tail authors can get noticed on sites like Amazon. I think the best seller lists are the filters that help us unknown authors get sales. I mean we don’t have big brand names or big publisher deals, so how does a reader find us? I’m convinced that on the Kindle, it is entirely due to these lists. The trick is to get on a list or two. The only way to do that is to get sales. That’s a Catch-22 though as nobody knows about us. I think in the case of Starstrikers, my novel, up to ten people just happened to buy it on the same day and that got it on a few lists. From there it has stayed on the lists for five months now.
The other trick to getting sales is to have more than one book for sale. In fact a series of books or multiple series of books tends to get you noticed. Having a back list is a good thing. Trouble with that is that most of us are relatively new and don’t have but one book on Amazon. I have two SF books and one Mystery. So far, only one of the SF books is selling well and the Mystery is locked at 5 per month levels. This fall I will release my third SF book and will be following it with one book per year from now going forward.
When I first decided to try my hand at self-publishing I gave myself five novels and or five years to see if I could find a market for my stuff. If nothing I wrote stuck on the wall, then I would probably quite writing or throttle back to one book every other year or something. That was two years and two books ago. With one book selling pretty well, it’s too early to tell if the second book will catch on. Maybe by this time next year I will have a clearer idea about how things are going.
I’d love to get back to a second Mystery novel or perhaps try my hand at the lucrative Thriller market, but I’m sticking to SF until I get all the Starstrikers Universe books written that I have planned. That will be about five books total in that universe. I have other ideas, but those five are the big ones.