Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Experiment #1

I have decided to try an experiment. I don’t remember the steps of the scientific method – something about a hypotenuse – so, it will be a very qualitative experiment. Here’s the deal. I recently published my second novel,The Biker, on Kindle. My first novel, Joe Café, still sells here and there, but it’s not flying off the shelves. I plan to release The Biker on Smashwords and Createspace, but, for now, I’m happy with leaving Joe Café on Kindle. So, I met at the crossroads with some marketing folk from Amazon and we signed some KDP Select documents in blood.
The weird thing about this is that I think KDP Select is a bad  thing. It makes me Amazon’s bitch. Basically, it means that Joe Café will be free for 90 days, I get to promote it as free for five, and I somehow get a cut of all the books that are loaned out during the three month period. I’m going to be honest with you before this becomes embarrassing for all of us – I don’t quite “get it”. But that’s never stopped me before.
The catch – or one of the catches – is that I can’t publish Joe Café anywhere else during the 90 day period. Cool, I wasn’t planning on it. And, a whole crapload of people can get my novel for free for a few months (I’m gonna have to wait on that yacht I’ve been eyeing). Whatever. Amazon is smarter than all of us. It’s a great idea from their standpoint. For me, well, it seems kind of fascist, but I’m trying to get past that.
When Amazon first started this program, we Indie writers got our sweatpants all in a bind about it. I was one of the ones that thought, ‘screw the man’. I said it quietly of course because I am deathly afraid of Amazon’s hit squad.
So, why the change of mind? It’s quite simple. Joe Café is a good book. I know I’m biased, but quality, intelligent people have read it and said that they liked it. I’ve gotten lots of good reviews (and most of them I didn’t even bug people to write). But it is…how shall I say this…a novel I wrote while trying to conquer a personal issue of grand, crushing, gnawing proportions. It is not a happy book. There is beauty in there, but there is also brutality…a lot of it. The kind of brutality you write when you are sweating profusely and wishing you were dead.
Now, I still have no problem with this. I like dark fiction. I like Cormac McCarthy a LOT. But, something tells me that Joe Café ain’t gonna make me rich (unless of course it gets made into a movie because for some reason welove dark, disturbing MOVIES whereas dark, disturbing books are somehow immoral…you know, like the Bible). Anyway, my new novel is a little more reader friendly. It’s the first in a series. It’s more “marketable”. There’s a love story. So, my hope is that, like cheap heroin, Kindle readers will read Joe Café and come twitching and bitching for more. Then they will buy The Biker in droves, and then I will buy a yacht. Really, I don’t see how this plan can fail.
I feel a little like I’m doing Joe Café dirty…it’s a book I love very much…it deserves better. I feel like I’m making it my two bit crack whore of Indie book marketing. But, what the hell. Yachts don’t buy themselves. So, I have my hypotenuse. Next I will find control groups or focus groups or a Ford Focus or something and make graphs and tell you all how it worked out for me. Cross your fingers. And pick up a copy of Joe Café on the 16th and 17th  (today and tomorrow for you number haters). It’s free. Tell your friends. You can save yourself enough for a few tacos at Taco Bell.

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