Today we have a lovely round up for you, including a delightful heap of mass murders to rival Jack the Ripper, vampires who can’t be killed by silver, sun or decapitation — but it’s all right, they appear to be crazy for love! — and the travails of cattle rustlers. But WAIT, there’s more!
There’s also haunted jukeboxes and ghost ships and UFOs — oh, my.
However, possibly the weirdest point is being enjoined to think like a publisher, because, dear readers, we’ve dealt with publishers enough that we’ll take wolf men and even red riding hoods before we understand how their devious minds work.
However this is what Dean Wesley Smith enjoins us to do [and it's a very good book if you or someone you love is considering indie publishing.] It might be more timely than ever this week since, as Kristine Kathryn Rusch puts it in her blog from yesterday (which you should read whole):
There are now five behemoth publishers. And several mid-sized publishers, like McSweeney’s or Soho or Kensington or Sourcebooks. But the days of pitting editor against editor to buy a series or having a sales force work hard for your book otherwise some other enterprising company might snatch you away are long gone.
These megacompanies aren’t about books or authors or readers. They’re about profit. And they’re not even about long-term profit. It’s important for these megacompanies to make money every quarter for their stockholders.
This, she explains:
That emphasis on quarterly profits infects all major industries right now. This is why the United States’ financial press doesn’t understand Jeff Bezos. He’s all about long-term profit and building a solid company, not earning extra bucks for the shareholders, until the company no longer functions well.
This emphasis on quarterly profits started infecting the book business in the 1990s, and we’ve seen the results. Smaller books that readers love became unavailable. The blockbuster mentality, which we’ve all seen in the movie industry, began to infect book publishing. It became harder and harder to “grow” a series. Instead, books sold by high concept—one line pitches that could be distilled for a sales force that increasingly wanted “Harry Potter meets Twilight,” so that they could sell the book without reading it.
So, if you love books, support indie publishers and solo publishers. They’re working against the tide.
And now, without further ado, this week’s books.
The Carnival Sniper—as famous as Jack The Ripper. And like Jack The Ripper, never caught, his identity lost to history.
In 1913, the Carnival Sniper terrorized Vienna, murdering the famous and not-so-famous alike. Police Detective Johann Runge never caught the Sniper and his failure defined the rest of his life.
In 2005, bestselling crime writer Sofie Branstadter receives permission to use modern forensic investigative techniques on the Sniper’s victims. She believes she can figure out the identity of the Sniper, but she needs the help of Runge’s great-grandson, classical pianist Anton Runge.
Together the two of them plunge into a world of scientific evidence and fantastic clues, all leading to one unbelievable conclusion.
An unlikely band of brothers… A ruthless gambler, a reckless young outlaw and a tough Buffalo soldier find themselves accidental partners in crime. But things really heat up when the outlaw’s carelessness puts the law hard on their tail. They set out to flee New Mexico Territory and cross the border into Colorado…or die trying.
Easy money–or a quick death! Joshua Love, the crazy kid with a dark secret, has seen the likes of Chewy Bill Roberts before. Rustling cattle is easy money-until they get caught. And Josh is sure Chewy Bill will end up just like all the others, with terror in his eyes and a hole in his head. Robbing stagecoaches turns out to be even more deadly. When the blood starts flowing, Josh and Bill are branded as outlaws, forever, true members of the Amarillas Gang, a ruthless bunch of cold-blooded killers. Josh has other things to worry about: a gunfight over a scheming girl named Jenny, the price tag of a banjo-and a wanted poster with his face on it! But if the law wants Joshua Love, they’re gonna have to get to him before the Amarillas, who now want him dead.
From prize-winning author and award-winning journalist Michael J. Totten comes TAKEN:
A writer is ripped from his home and hauled bound and gagged to a remote house in the wilderness.
Four ruthless captors with overseas ties and a plan here at home–the frighteningly rational leader of a homegrown Al Qaeda terrorist cell; a torturer who learned his trade in the dungeons of Egypt; and two henchmen, one a grinning sadist who can hardly wait to start cutting.
Taken on a harrowing journey across three states into his very worst nightmare, he faces a terrible choice. Prove himself and join them. Or die.
A Step-By-Step Guide to Being an Indie Publisher. Written by Dean Wesley Smith, USA Today Bestselling writer and former publisher of Pulphouse Publishing. Point-by-point, Dean tells you what is needed to start up a publishing house and sell your books both electronically but also to bookstores.
Bestselling author Dean Wesley Smith has written more than ninety popular novels and well over 100 published short stories. His novels include the science fiction novel Laying the Music to Rest and the thriller The Hunted as D.W. Smith. With Kristine Kathryn Rusch, he is the coauthor of The Tenth Planet trilogy and The 10th Kingdom. He writes under many pen names and has also ghosted for a number of top bestselling writers.
Dean has also written books and comics for all three major comic book companies, Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse, and has done scripts for Hollywood. One movie was actually made.
Over his career he has also been an editor and publisher, first at Pulphouse Publishing, then for VB Tech Journal, then for Pocket Books.
Currently, he is writing thrillers and mystery novels under another name and working with WMG Publishing to put stories up for sale.
Songs often take you back to a memory of a friend or an event. In the Garden Lounge sits a jukebox with the special ability to take a listener physically back to the memory, but only for the length of the song. Included in this collection are five jukebox stories.
“Jukebox Gifts” is the story of a bar owner who wants to give his friends the ultimate Christmas present, no matter what it might mean for him. “Golden Dream” is the story about how one of the characters from “Jukebox Gifts” gets back to the Garden Lounge. “Black Betsy” is a story about the baseball player Shoeless Joe and how the jukebox helped a man who had done something to Shoeless Joe that haunted him for years. And “Our Slaying Song Tonight” is a story of the murder of a previous Garden Lounge owner. “Ghosts of the Garden Lounge,” a moving story about a couple who used to be regulars in the bar, but were murdered, anchors the collection.
Mark Ohath is the sheriff of Sorcerer’s Gulch, but the townspeople don’t know his secret, that he is also a shape-shifting sasquatch. Assisted by his centaur deputy, Ed-Ray, he has to keep the streets clear, the wizards from shooting up the town, the dragon trains rolling, and nothing interfering with the business of the various magical and ordinary people that inhabit Sorcerer’s Gulch.
When the dragon train master kicks a woman, sick with an unknown illness, off the train, Mark has problems hiding his true nature as a sasquatch while keeping the peace.
A short story of a brave mother protecting her family… and making sure her protectors are safe as well. Called “sweet and powerful” by a first reader, this tale will stay with you and have you wondering what you are capable of to keep your family safe.
A short story retelling the classic tale, where little Red Riding Hood carries a shotgun and the Wolf may not be all bad. It is Grandmother, or as she is known in her native Russian, Babushka, who has the biggest secret of them all
The Smelly Planet takes place in the colony of New Southampton in 2066, eleven months after the town’s founding. The story is narrated by easygoing, sociopathic Physical Plant manager Chuck Strickland, and features many classic sci-fi elements, such as aliens, robots, and printers.
They are untouched by time, and ravaged only by silver, sun, and decapitation. One such creature finds himself in a small, dusty town in Ohio in 1837. There the Blood Moon, an ancient force spoken only in legends, forces him to take an unwilling young woman as his eternal companion.
To submit to Book Plug Friday, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for guidelines. (Hint: Authors name, book title, a short blurb, and a LINK TO AMAZON FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.)