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Friday, July 27, 2012

What Can Indie Authors Learn from Steve Jobs and The Big Six?

Greetings and welcome to Self-Publishing Central.

I just came across some interesting information related to book pricing and simply HAD to share. Please read and consider the following:

Some evidence from the DoJ's antitrust case against Apple, et al --

"And in an email to one of the publishing execs, Jobs, according to court records, wrote that "all major publishers" had told Apple that "Amazon's $9.99 price for new releases is eroding the value perception of their products in customers' minds, and they do not want this practice to continue for new releases."

So...Mr. Jobs and the traditional publishing insiders were concerned about "value perception of their products"; so concerned that, allegedly, they engaged in illegal price fixing. 

Indie's should be concerned about value perception, too. Don't sell yourself short. Demand a reasonable price for your books.

The foregoing message has been my opinion...and of course, Steve Jobs' opinion as well. 

Thanks for stopping in.

Cheers!



John

My Source:http://www.informationweek.com/news/hardware/handheld/232900242

Monday, July 16, 2012

Kobo's Writing Life Direct ePub is Now Live!

ATTENTION: The long-awaited direct publishing access to Kobo's eStore is NOW LIVE. Publish your book directly with Kobo and earn up to 70% royalties.

Here's the link: http://writinglife.kobobooks.com

Cheers!

John

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Amazon KDP Select Lives - Part 2

Hello all. Thanks for stopping at Self-Publishing Central.

This post will give an update to my post from last week's discussion of why I believe the Amazon KDP Select program is still a viable way to get exposure, and sales, for your book.

Summary of giveaway results.


Over a period of three and a half days, using KDP's Free Promo option, I was able to give away more than 34,000 Kindle copies of THE 19TH ELEMENT. The vast majority were picked up by readers in the U.S. But there were over 600 books given away in Europe as well. While the book was free, it reached a Free Kindle Ranking of No. 13 overall and No.1 in Suspense and Thriller categories.

I decided to end what had been scheduled to be a five day free period when the pace of downloads slowed a bit at the end of day four. So the book was free for about three and a half days.

Paid results so far.

The results for book sales in the paid column have been great so far. As I mentioned in the earlier post, it was not possible to approach the Top 100 on Paid Kindle due to Amazon's new algorithms. But so far, the book has reached as high as No. 306 in Paid Kindle Rankings on the third day after ending the free promo. Since then, it has hovered between about No. 400 and No. 450 in the overall Paid Kindle Rankings. It is presently at No. 415 as I write this blog on day seven after the free promo.

In the Paid Kindle Suspense category, the book has ranked as high as No. 26 and is presently ranked at No. 36. That's Top 100 in a very competitive Kindle category for nearly a week now!

To this point, THE 19TH ELEMENT has sold over 550 copies at $6.99. I has also seen Amazon Prime Borrows of more than 850. And remember...we're only in the middle of day seven in the paid column.

Conclusion.


Although the "new" free promo didn't yield the classic "three day bump" such promos once provided back in January and February, my book is still solidly in the Top 100 in its category (No. 36) and sales and Borrows remain strong on day seven paid.

As an extra bonus, the other three books in the series have seen approximately a doubling in sales beginning during the free period and continuing today. That's an extra 150 or so additional sales, also at $6.99.

Those are my results. You decide. Is KDP still worth it for you? It is for me.

Thanks for stopping in.

Cheers!

John

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Kobo's Big News

Hello all, and thanks for stopping in at Self-Publishing Central.

I just have some quick news today about Kobo's new publishing platform, The Writing Life, which should be operational very soon.

First of all, I have to credit Andy Holloman for emailing me the tip on this development. Then I need to thank  Matthew Iden, because he will be writing the rest of this post.

Please read Matthew's thorough analysis of this awesome news on his blog here.

Thanks again for stopping in.

Cheers!

John

Friday, July 6, 2012

Amazon KDP Select Lives

Hello all,

Thanks for stopping in at Self-Publishing Central.

Today's topic is the current viability of Amazon's KDP Select Free Promos. My short answer -- they still work, just not the same. The longer version is below.

If you've listed free promos through Amazon's KDP Select program in the last two months or so, you've probably noticed that the "three day bump" that almost always followed free promo days earlier this year has all but disappeared. The reasons are explained in this blog post from Indie Bookspot and the links contained in that post. It's recommended reading; but not mandatory.

The disappearance of the "bump" is too bad for us indie author/publishers. There was great visibility in the way Amazon allowed our books a chance to see Top 100 exposure to the public, and as a result, make some significant sales. (My own personal experiences earlier this year are detailed in previous posts on this blog. No need to link them, because it doesn't work that way anymore.)

What's changed?

In April and May, Amazon adjusted their infamous "algorithms" that determine book rankings in the Kindle Book arena. In the new ranking system, free books have been severely devalued and KDP Borrows aren't counted at all. The result is that our books don't shoot up the Amazon rankings the way they did in January through March. As I said, that's too bad.

But...there are still advantages to KDP Free Promos. We can still get our books into the hands of potential readers without (direct) cost. That kind of advertising is hard to buy anywhere. Even if a good share of the books never get read, your name and book title flash across a consumer's mind while downloading the book. All exposure is good. And a certain number of downloaders WILL read your book. If they like it, they may buy more of your books or tell their friends. This is all good, but may not, by itself, justify the exclusivity required to be a participant in KDP Select.

Other Benefits of KDP Select


I'm sure the importance of the $2.00 per book from lending library revenues will vary from author to author. For my books, this steady income is a nice perk, and exceeds my historical revenues from other sales outlets such as B&N and SmashWords by a fair margin. I gave these outlets a second chance after my first 90-day Select conscription, and they didn't do very well selling my books. I regularly earn several hundred dollars a month from Borrowing revenue. Compared to other sales outlets, KDP Select is the clear earnings winner with my offerings (at least for now).

How about the lack of that "3 day bump"? Does that mean there is no sales bump at all?

For my books, that has not been the meaning. In the wake of three, recent free promo offerings, each of my offered books has seen a significant increase in sales over the next thirty days. (This period corresponds with what would be predicted under Amazon's new algorithms.) The ratings increases aren't as dramatic as they were earlier in the year. I'm not seeing my books nearing the Paid Top 100 overall on Kindle. But the rankings definitely go up. How much your book's rankings go up will depend on how many books you give away.

My latest free promo, which ended yesterday evening, has already boosted THE 19TH ELEMENT to No. 481 overall and No. 36 in Kindle Paid Suspense. I expect those rankings to improve over the next few days to a week, and then taper off slowly. And based on past experience, the rankings will taper off more slowly under the new Amazon system than they would under the "old" (Jan thru Mar) algorithm. So the book's sales increase will not be as dramatic; but it will last longer. It WILL be worth the effort and worth the book's exclusivity on Amazon.

Are there changes to how I should conduct free promos?


Yes. I believe so.

Since the new algorithm looks at a 30 day period of "sales," and not just a 24 hour window, I recommend that you shoot for a longer free period. In the "old" days, a two or three day promo was optimum. Today, I'd shoot for four or five days. Keep the promo going as long as your downloads continue to be strong. (This will be a relative condition, depending on the book, the author, and the author's platform.) When the pace of downloads decreases significantly you will reach a point where you may be giving up cash sales in exchange for too few free downloads. Use your own judgment on that one. I can't give you a formula. I terminated my recent giveaway after about three and a half days due to a decrease in download rate.

There is one other change that has occurred since January and that is very important to the success of your free promo. There are now MANY sites that promote free kindle books. And readers DO patronize them. So you have to use them, too. These sites are where your book promo will be seen -- where readers will download your book.

I suggest you look at this wonderful list put together and posted by Rachelle Ayala on Rachelle's Window. Try not to be overwhelmed. Do what you can. But take advantage of this great resource about a week in advance of your free promo dates. It WILL increase your book's download activity.

Conclusion

Amazon KDP Select is still alive...at least for now. Take advantage of its benefits before everything changes again in the publishing world (which you know it will).

Thanks again for stopping in.

Cheers!

John

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Custom Pricing Your Book at Amazon

Hello all, and thanks for stopping in at Self-Publishing Central.

Today's topic is a bit off the beaten path in that it deals with pricing of PAPER BOOKS.

Remember those?

I imagine that, if your sales are anything like mine, well more than 90% of them are sales of digital books. Paper books have become too expensive compared to Kindle and Nook. With broadening acceptance of the newer eReading technologies, it's getting harder and harder to make your paper books economically attractive to your readers.

Still...there ARE some books that readers want to own in paper format, if the price isn't too awful. One of my books falls into this category. A HIGHER COURT is a great book for book clubs, study groups, and for sharing with your friends. I've sold a fair number of them even at the $16.95 price they used to carry everywhere. I believe I could sell quite a few more if I could price the book at, say, $12.95.

And $12.95 is enough to get me a fair return on sales through Amazon. But at that price, CreateSpace's expanded distribution channels eat up pretty much all of the profit in a paper book sale. In order to even make a couple bucks per book, the $16.95 price is a necessity.

"So what am I getting to?" you ask.

Simple. If you're using CreateSpace, publish your paper book twice -- once for Amazon at $12.95 and once for the rest of the world at $16.95. It doesn't cost anything extra to do this.

So...from now on, buyers of A HIGHER COURT who wish to patronize B&N or their other local book outlets, can buy my book at the minimum price I can sell it at through their distribution channel -- $16.95. OR they can buy it from Amazon at $12.95.

Does this give Amazon an unfair advantage? Yes.

Is this unfair to people who buy their books through B&N, et al? No. It's not my fault traditional paper book distribution channels are so expensive. And of course, everyone is still welcome to buy at the lower price, if they're willing to go to Amazon. Heck...I'd sell direct to B&N or local bookstores if they'd let me -- same price as Amazon. But I can't afford to SELL through traditional channels at the lower price. It's not a choice...it's a reality.

To sum up...there's the regular price at which your book is offered through Ingram, Roberts & Taylor, etc. through CreateSpace's Expanded Disttribution. And then there is the DISCOUNTED Amazon price.

If you've got a paper book that's begging for a larger audience, but you haven't been able to make the numbers work out, give the above strategy some thought.

And if you want your books to be the same price everywhere...then don't follow my path. It's entirely up to you. It's just one more option to consider.

That's it for today. All the best to you.

Cheers!

John

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Publish Your Paperback in Europe

Hi folks. And thanks for stopping in at Self-Publishing Central.

Today's topic, publishing paperbacks in Europe, is one that I've wondered about for quite some time. There have always been contract printers in Europe who will print your books for you. But prices were never that attractive, especially when one considered the hefty percentages that Amazon would take when you made a "Marketplace Sale" on The Continent.

Now CreateSpace has changed all that. If you have printed your U.S. titles with CreateSpace, all you need to do to make your paperbacks available in Europe through Amazon UK, Amazon DE, and the others, is to check the box on your book's Distribution Channels. You also have the same option of altering your European price structure that Amazon DTP has offered for quite a while now. And there's NO EXTRA DISTRIBUTION CHARGE.

The other really good news is that your books will be eligible for Amazon's Free Shipping after the required minimum purchase is made. (Similar to the "Free Shipping with $25.00 Order" policy in the U.S.)

So if you've printed your book with CreateSpace, what are you waiting for? Check the box and sell to Europe. If you haven't printed through CreateSpace, ask your printer if they've given you new European distribution options. If not, then get over to CS and sell to Europe in Paperback! It costs practically nothing to get started.

That's it for today. Thanks for checking in.

Cheers!

John

Saturday, March 3, 2012

KDP Select Free Promo Update

Hello all. Thanks for stopping by at Self-Publishing Central.

Today, I feel obligated to give you an update on the Amazon KDP Select Free Promos I've held since my last post.

You may recall that my first giveaway through KDP was successful beyond my wildest expectations. That giveaway was for The Covert Element, Book Three in my James Becker Suspense/Thriller Series. Please review the results of that giveaway in my last post.

PROMO #2 -- A HIGHER COURT

The next book I offered as a two day Free Promo was my stand alone spiritual fiction book, A HIGHER COURT. During the free days I managed to give away more than 15,000 copies, mainly in the U.S. The book reached the Amazon Free Kindle Top 10 about 6:00 pm on Day 1 and remained in the Top 20 for the duration of the freebie.

During the seven days immediately following the giveaway, I sold more than 1,600 Kindle copies of A Higher Court at $6.99. During this period the book reached #115 on the Amazon Paid Kindle Bestseller list and remained there for three days. It also reached the #1 paid spot in Spirituality, Religious Fiction, and Literary Fiction during these paid days. These sales compare to a sales ranking of  >100,000 before the promo.

PROMO #3 -- THE 19TH ELEMENT

About a week later I offered Book One of the Becker Series on a two day promo. I gave away more than 20,000 free books during this time, reaching #11 on the Free Kindle charts. Unfortunately, I went fishing for five days while this promo was in process, so I don't have lots of details. However, I can say that I sold >900 copies of The 19th Element over the next seven day period at $6.99 each. I'm not sure where these sales placed the book on the Bestseller list -- probably somewhere between 500 and 1,000.

PROMO #4 -- A HIGHER COURT (Second Promo for this Book)

A few weeks later I wanted to find out what would happen if I offered the same book as a Free Promo twice. So I did this with A HIGHER COURT.

During the Free Days, the book reached #8 overall in Free Kindle, #1 in Spirituality, #1 in Religious Fiction, and #1 in Literary Fiction. I gave away nearly 17,000 copies. Once the book went back into the paid column, it peaked at around #435 on the paid Kindle Bestseller list, and reached the Top Ten in the same three categories I have just mentioned above. Total paid sales in the seven days following the promo were a little over 600 copies at $6.99. As of this writing, A Higher Court is ranked at #1685 in the Paid Kindle Store.

CONCLUSION 

As you can tell, I have had pretty good success with these free promo days. And as you can also tell, running a second Free Promo for the same book has yielded measurable benefit for me, though not nearly the impact of the first time around.

I recount this experience for the same reason I share everything here at Self-Publishing Central -- to let you know what's working and not working for me. Maybe you can learn from my experiences.

BTW . . . I plan to depart the KDP program when my 90 days are up. Even though it appears I could have 1,000 or more borrows a month, I really want to make my books as widely available as possible. So I'm going back to broad distribution to see how that goes this time around. Who knows? Maybe I'll be back at KDP Select sometime in the future.

That's it for today.

Cheers!

John

Monday, January 23, 2012

KDP FREE BOOK PROMO RESULTS - THE COVERT ELEMENT


Free Book Promotion Results

Greetings and welcome to Self-Publishing Central. Thanks for stopping by.

Today I’m going to give you a summary of the results of my recent Free Book Promo for my suspense/thriller, THE COVERT ELEMENT. I promise you, this will be an interesting read.

THE BASICS

Book Title: THE COVERT ELEMENT (Published in May, 2011)

Pre-promo Book Kindle Ranking: >#100,000.

Requirement to hold promo: Sign THE COVERT ELEMENT up for KDP Select Program

When promo held: Jan 10 & 11 (Tues & Weds), more precisely, 12 am PST Tues to 12am PST Thurs.

Book Pricing: Decided to leave the Kindle book price at $6.99, where all my books have been priced for most of the year.

MY WILDEST HOPES:
I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect with this giveaway. I had done book giveaways on my website, on this blog, and on Twitter before. Never was I able to give away so many as 25 FREE books. However, I was inspired by the detailed Free Promo results David Wisehart posted in his nine consecutive blog posts. So I thought I’d give it a try.

These were my (very optimistic) hopes for the promo:

Maybe give away as many as 8,000 or 9,000 books.
Maybe get into the Kindle Free Top 100.
Maybe sell 500-700 books after the free period ended.

As you will see, these “hopes” fell well short of the realities this promo achieved. I should have dared to hope bigger.

FREE PROMO FACTS AND FIGURES:
Here are some key facts and statistics from the two days during which my book was free to buy from Amazon:

Books given away: Over 25,000, including >1000 in UK and at least 1 in on every Amazon site.
Highest Free Kindle Ranking: #10.
Highest Free Kindle Suspense Ranking: #1.
Highest Free Kindle Ranking in the UK: #84

PAID RESULTS FROM PROMO
Okay. So the giveaway portion of the promo was fantastic! 25,000 books out to potential readers. I was thrilled. But how would all these free books affect my sales? Had I given away any hope of selling even more books?

I’m thankful to say that quite the opposite was the case. Here are some relevant rankings and statistics from the first 7 days that THE COVERT ELEMENT was back in the paid column on Kindle:

Highest Paid Kindle Ranking – #162 (achieved 3 days after promo)
Highest Paid Kindle Suspense Ranking – #13.
Highest Paid Kindle Movers & Shakers Ranking – #45.
Highest on Kindle Most Popular List – #12.
Ranking at end of First Seven Days Post Promo: Approx. #800

KINDLE BOOKS SOLD IN FIRST SEVEN DAYS AFTER FREE PROMO:
Okay, those rankings were a big improvement from the book’s pre-promo status. But how do the rankings translate into sales? (I had two other titles in the same series as THE COVERT ELEMENT, and since the promo substantially affected their sales, I am listing them here as well.)

Here’s what I have found out regarding that first seven-day paid period. These are actual numbers of kindle books sold at $6.99 each:

THE COVERT ELEMENT (Promo Book): >1,150
THE 19TH ELEMENT: >200
THE MISSING ELEMENT: >200
A HIGHER COURT: 12
COMBINED UK SALES: >50

TOTAL SALES: >1,612

Compare this to my December monthly sales for the same titles:

TOTAL SALES OF ALL BOOKS IN MONTH OF DECEMBER: 44

Wow! I’d say the promo was a huge success in the sales column. I sold more than two year’s worth of Kindle books in seven days!

KINDLE BOOKS BORROWED IN AMAZON PRIME LIBRARY IN FIRST SEVEN DAYS AFTER PROMO:
But you know, there is a new source of revenue in the Kindle world these days – royalties from the KDP Select Library. In December, publishers (in my case, that’s me) were paid $1.70 per borrow of their books. It is uncertain whether that per-book figure will increase or decrease. But in any case, it appears to have some value beyond the minuscule. So here are the number of Borrows during the seven days post promo:

THE COVERT ELEMENT: >400
THE 19TH ELEMENT: 17
THE MISSING ELEMENT: 11
A HIGHER COURT: 0

TOTAL BORROWING: >428
                   
INTANGIBLES
–     There have been four reviews from Free Promo book readers on Amazon so far – three Five Star and one Four Star.

–     The “Liked” button for The Covert Element on Amazon went from 4 to 34 since the promo started.

SUPPORTERS OF MY FREE PROMO
No promotion can be successful without the help of many people. Here are a few who helped me a ton with this promotion. Please forgive me if I omit your name. There were so many. And I truly appreciate you all.

Websites that helped promote the Free Book Promo:

pixelofink.com
icravefreebies.com
centsablemomma.com
thedigitalinkspot.blogspot.com                       
Reviewers Roundup on FaceBook
LinkedIn Writers Groups
Google+
My FaceBook Author Page
Twitter – Especially members of The Independent Author Network (#IAN1)

Special thanks to:

David Wisehart and his blog at:

http://kindle-author.blogspot.com/2012/01/kindle-ebook-sales-report-day-9.html

David’s detailed coverage of his 9 day promo and post promo results inspired me to try a free promo in the first place.

L.M. Stull – Who tweeted David’s blog. That’s how I found all of David’s great info.

All members of IAN who tirelessly tweeted and RT’d the availability of my books.

My many other Twitter and FaceBook friends who so faithfully spread the word. (Far too numerous to name, but each was crucially important.)

Finally, I credit the huge success of this promo to God. You heard me correctly. I have been praying for direction in my life. And I have specifically asked God whether I should continue writing novels. I think the results of this promo provide a clear answer. Without Him, nothing is possible.

CONCLUSION
Well...I think you’ll agree that the promo was a success by any measure. If you feel moved to give this marketing strategy a try, I’d say, “Go for it.” Honestly, there are so many potential book buyers out there, even if you gave away 100,000 copies, there’d still be millions of them left. It’s essentially an endless supply of potential readers. Okay...it’s not endless. But after you sell a million or so books, who cares?

That’s it for today. I encourage comments and suggestions that can help every self-published author make the most of this marketing opportunity.

Cheers!

John 

PS: I have another free book promo going on THIS WEEK Tues and Weds, Jan 24 and 25, for A HIGHER COURT. Please take a copy. 


http://www.amazon.com/A-Higher-Court-ebook/dp/B004AM59MI/ref=sr_1_5?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1327378634&sr=1-5

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

CreateSpace Offers Pro-Plan Benefits for FREE


Hello all. Thanks for stopping in at Self-Publishing Central.
I just have a brief notice for you today from CreateSpace, one of today's most popular POD providers.

In the past, in order to receive reduced pricing on print costs of your book, and to have access to multiple distribution channels, such as Ingram and Roberts & Stevens, CreateSpace authors need to pay an addition $36 to $39 per title to join the Pro Plan. 

CORRECTION: Now reduced book pricing is available FREE to all CreateSpace authors. A charge of $25 per title will be assessed to access expanded distribution channels.

This is GREAT news!

Here's the announcement I received a few minutes ago via email.

_______________________________


As a member with Pro Plan, we're emailing to let you know that Pro Plan is being discontinued  as of January 18, 2012. We're now offering industry-leading royalties, low costs on copies of your books and improved distribution options to all our members, free of charge.
Here's how you are impacted:
·         The availability of your title(s) through our free Standard Distribution channels, including Amazon.com and CreateSpace eStore, will remain unchanged.
·        If you purchased Pro Plan for any of your titles, the availability of those titles through Expanded Distribution channels will remain unchanged.  You have the option to change enrollment in Expanded Distribution channels at no charge. To make your selections, go to your Project Homepage, click Channels, select your Expanded Distribution channels, and hit Save.
·         You'll continue to receive the benefit of improved royalty payouts due to lower unit costs on orders for all your titles.
We value your membership and we're here to help if you have any questions.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.
Cheers!

John

Monday, January 9, 2012

Free Genuine Amazon Kindle Ebook NOW!

Greetings all,

I'm hijacking my blog today for a bit of self-promotion. I'm hoping it's something you all will enjoy anyway, because it's an opportunity to get a free Kindle copy of my newest novel, THE COVERT ELEMENT.

Here are the details:

WHEN: Tuesday, January 10th and Wednesday, January 11th.
WHERE: The Covert Element at Amazon
WHY: This is my best opportunity to expose new readers to my books -- to let them try one for FREE. What have you got to lose?

HOW: In the US, just click on the link and download your FREE Kindle book from Amazon.
IN THE UK: Use this link instead.

Please confirm that the book price is listed as $0.00. Sometimes it takes Amazon an extra couple hours to complete the price adjustment.

After these two days, this book will not be offered for free again. It will return to its regular price of $6.99 in the US.

Here's the book cover and summary:

SILVER MEDAL - 2011 Readers Favorite Book Awards.
_______________________________________________
Former military intelligence operative, James “Beck” Becker and his CIA code-cracking wife, Beth, have retired to Beck’s hometown of Red Wing, Minnesota. Their retirement has already proven more exhilarating than they’d expected.

But they could never have anticipated the new source of crime and intrigue in their small community. A Mexican drug cartel has set up shop a few miles down the road. And they’re not just selling. The new meth production facility is the largest north of the Rio Grande.

To complicate matters further, Terry “Bull” Red Feather’s former comrade-in-arms has come to visit. And he’s on a mission. His decades-long assault on the cartels is coming to a head. His plan is to blow up the drug plant . . . if he can find it. He wants Bull to help.

The Beckers’ challenge? To dismantle cartel operations before a full-blown drug war breaks out in Red Wing.
_______________________

Get one for yourself and gift as many as you like to friends through Amazon's gifting button.

Hope you enjoy the free read.

Cheers!

John

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Interview with Author Jennifer Chase


 Author, Jennifer Chase

Hello all. Thanks for stopping by Self-Publishing Central. 

Today we welcome crime thriller author, Jennifer Chase, who has graciously agreed to take time out from her busy schedule busting perps to grant us a brief interview.

John: Hey, Jennifer. How's it going today?
Jennifer: Great, John. Thanks for inviting me to visit with your followers.
John: Okay. Let's kick things off with the basics. How about your bio?
Jennifer: Here's the formal into I generally use:
BIO: Jennifer Chase holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master's degree in criminology. She is a member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists. Her intense curiosity into the psychological aspect of crime is what drives her to write crime fiction. She has published four crime thrillers and one screenwriting workbook.  She lives in California, where she's currently at work on her next book.
John: Please tell us a bit about your book: Dark Mind (Emily Stone Series #3) - characters, plot, etc.

Jennifer: A Serial Killer Plagues an Island Paradise.
Vigilante detective Emily Stone continues her covert pursuits to find serial killers and child abductors, all under the radar while shadowing police investigations.

Emily searches for an abducted nine-year-old girl taken by ruthless and enterprising slave brokers. Following the clues from California to the garden island of Kauai, she begins to piece together the evidence and ventures deep into the jungle.

It doesn’t take long before Emily is thrown into the middle of murder, mayhem, and conspiracy. Locals aren’t talking as a serial killer now stalks the island, taking women in a brutal frenzy of ancient superstitions and folklore. Local cops are unprepared for what lies ahead. In a race against the clock, Emily and her team must identify the killer before time runs out.


John: If you could meet, in person, any of your characters, who would it be and why?

Jennifer: I would love to meet my heroine Emily Stone because she inspires and reminds me how we all need to look out for one another. However, she’s smarter and definitely tougher than I am.  She’s a character that goes out and does what we “would like to” do in order to assist law enforcement by finding serial killers and rescuing children from abduction.


John: If you could fictionalize yourself and put yourself in any situation, how would it play out? Could you give us a scene/scenario of such an occurrence?


Jennifer: Ever since I was a little girl I’ve wanted to solve a mystery – something that has been on the books for a while, like a cold murder case or a great train robbery.  I would fictionalize myself as a character that’s a cross between Nancy Drew, Jessica Fletcher, and a smidge of the Scooby Doo gang.  This character would be light hearted, but making a difference in solving crimes that have been forgotten by law enforcement and the general public.
John: Do you have any particular habits that you do while writing? Places you write the best, foods, drinks, etc that help set your "writing mood"?


Jennifer: Well… the cat is out of the bag. I write barefooted.  Yep, I’ve admitted my weird writer quirk.  I like to write in my home office where it’s quiet and with few distractions.  I find that I can get more done in a shorter period of time.  I don’t drink coffee, but you can find a large glass of mineral water with a slice lemon sitting on the corner of my desk.  When I’m writing, I have classical piano playing even when I’m writing a stressful scene or inside the mind of a serial killer.


John: What are you reading right now?

Jennifer: I just finished a great thriller Hunter by Robert Bidinotto and I’m in the middle of a fun, local mystery A Slice of Carmel by Barbara Chamberlain.  In addition, I’m frequently referring to many of my non-fiction textbooks on forensics, criminal profiling and serial homicide.


John: Who are some of your favorite authors and/or books?

Jennifer: I love so many authors.  The authors that stand out for me and what you’ll find on my bookshelf right now are Dean Koontz, JT Ellison, Vince Flynn, Tess Gerritsen (Rizzoli & Isles) David Baldacci, Stephen King, Jeffrey Deaver (Lincoln Rhyme Series), Lee Child (Jack Reacher rules), many independent authors (the list seems to grow everyday), and the list goes on…


John: If you could meet any author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?


Jennifer: This is a great question! I’m torn, but I would pick Shakespeare.  Why you ask?  I have some questions for him about his insight into murder, crime, psychology and the motivations of people in general.  I think he was a criminologist of sorts.

John: Okay, here are a few "get to know you better" questions:

Please share with us a favorite memory.


Jennifer: There’s so many!  From childhood, I would say the times I spent riding horses from the ages of seven to about fourteen years old.  That was a much gentler and wonderful time in my life.  As an adult, getting married on the island of Kauai with all of those wonderful memories my husband and I have shared together.  My own personal independent favorite memory would have to be the experience training my Labrador with the local police K9 units. 

John: Please describe a perfect meal - including menu and those present.


Jennifer: Perfect meal… so many tasty entrees to choose from… It would have to be an authentic Caesar salad, a perfect medium rare filet mignon, mango seasoned rice, assorted steamed vegetables, a nice red wine, and crème brulee for dessert.  This meal would be perfect to share with family and friends, especially people I haven’t seen in a while.  It would be nice to have everyone all together for a perfect meal.  Did I write the word “perfect” too many times in my answer?


John: What are some of your favorite ways to relax?


Jennifer: I love to take leisurely hikes around my California area up in the hills, around the forests of the state parks, and along the beaches.   It’s a way for me to completely relax and just concentrate on my surroundings.  It’s a stress reliever for me and sometimes I get some of my best novel ideas. 

John: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?


Jennifer: This is a difficult question, but I’d have to say Greece.  I’m not sure why because I’ve never visited, but I would love to spend some time writing there.  It’s a magnificent, picturesque area with wonderful food and a warm culture. 

John: I know this is an inconceivable thought, but if you could only read books by one author, who would it be?


Jennifer: Yikes only one author!  My pick would be the entire library of Dean Koontz.  He blends genres of mystery, thriller, suspense, horror, and paranormal.  I wouldn’t get bored reading his books more than once.


John: Share with us a few of your dreams.  Also whether they have been fulfilled or are still a work in progress.


Jennifer: I’m sure that many writers share this dream to be a household name.  That would be wonderful along with my own personal getaway beach house.  But, seriously I would like to make a difference in some way, bigger than my own personal life.  There’s an organization called Project Pooch matching juvenile offenders with rescue dogs.  It’s an amazing project of rehabilitation for both parties involved and producing some great results.  I would love to be instrumental in a project like this in my area, especially with my background in criminology. 

John: What are some of your guilty pleasures?


Jennifer: Ice cream!!!  I can pass on most desserts and sweets, but I couldn’t live without my ice cream: butter pecan, chocolate chip, and French vanilla.  That reminds me, I need to buy another gallon at the grocery store!


John: If you could leave the world with one piece of advice, what would it be?


Jennifer: I may be exceedingly naive, but I like to stay hopeful and optimistic in the difficult days ahead.  We all should leave the world a little bit better than how we found it.

John: Jennifer, I really appreciate you visiting with us today at Self-Publishing Central. Perhaps we'll see you again when your next book comes out.
Jennifer: That would be fun. Thanks for having me today.



Check out Jennifer's latest book on Amazon or Nook. And visit her on The Independent Author Network at her member page.

Thank you all for coming by.

Cheers!

John