Room for Two FREE on Kindle

My first book, Room for Two, is free on Kindle starting today. It will be available as a free download through Friday, September 26.

It's also available for free in the Amazon stores for CanadaUK, Australia, Japan, France, Brazil, IndiaSpain, Italy, Mexico, and Germany.

If you don't have a Kindle you can download  Kindle app for your phone, tablet, or computer for free.

Read the first three chapters of Room for Two here.

About Room for Two

"Sweetie, I'm home." I tried to put as much kindness into my voice as possible. I didn't want to have another argument - at least not right away.

Silence.

"Sweetheart?"

A gunshot echoed from our bedroom, followed by the sound of a bullet casing skipping along a wall.

Everything slowed down.

***

When a life is destroyed, when guilt says you played a role in its destruction, how do you face the days ahead?

Twenty-six-year-old Abel Keogh chooses to ignore the promptings he receives concerning his wife's mental illness, and now he feels he is to blame for her choices. If only he had listened . . .

At some point in our lives, each of us face devastating afflictions and must eventually cope with loss. Regardless of how it happens, the outcome is still the same - we are left isolated, alone, wondering what we could have done differently, and where we can turn for peace.

This is Abel's story in his own words. His search for peace and the miracle that follows is proof that love and hope can endure, despite the struggles and tragedies that shape each of our lives.

 

 

New Edition of Room for Two

Good news! A new edition of Room for Two is coming out in a few weeks. For those who aren't familiar with the book, Room for Two is the story behind the death of my late wife and how I met Marathon Girl. It’s about my search for peace and the miracle that follows. It’s proof that love and hope can endure, despite the struggles and tragedies that shape each of our lives. An ebook version will come out later this month, followed by a paperback version after the New Year.If you haven’t read Room for Two you can download a PDF of the first chapter here. As part of the new edition, I’m crowd sourcing a new cover for the book. If you’re a graphic designer or know someone who is, you can submit cover designs for the book here. Initial entries are due no later than Thursday morning. There’s a $290 prize for the winning design so if you’re interested in participating, now’s the time to get started.

And speaking of Room for Two,  there are still limited quantities of the first edition available. If you’d like signed or personalized copies of any of my books as gifts for the holidays or for yourself, you can them here. Shipping is just a flat $3.50 no matter the number of books you order.

The Non-Fiction Ebook Revolution

As a writer it’s been interesting to watch the publishing industry upheaval since my first book was traditionally published in 2007. Gone are the days of physically mailing query letters to agents or small publishers and waiting weeks or months for a response—if you got one at all. Instead you can now email queries and wait weeks or months for a response—if you even get one. J

But the biggest change to the publishing world has been the proliferation of ebooks. Ebooks, which only applied to a small niche audience in the pre-Kindle days, have gone mainstream. They’ve changed the way people read and access books and empowered writers to cut out the middleman and sell their book directly to readers. All of these are positive changes in an industry that, until recently, was partying like it was 1899.

When you read about success stories like Hugh Howey and other writers who have benefited from the ebook revolution, the success stories primarily focus on fiction writers. Rarely do you hear about non-fiction authors or how readers of there are responding to ebook upheaval.

Since I primarily write non-fiction, I’ve noticed that it’s taken a little longer for my readers to embrace ebooks. My audience is primarily female between the ages of 30-60. Some of them are avid readers but most of them probably read only or two books a year. (There’s nothing wrong with that. Most people in the world don’t read more than one books in any given year.) Most of them don’t own Kindles, Nooks, or other e-readers. Yet despite this, my readers are embracing ebooks nearly as much as avid readers. It just took them a few years longer to adopt.

Here’s what I’ve observed: When I turned down a traditional publishing contract in the summer of 2011 to pursue the indie route, I knew my audience well enough to know that that most of my readers still wanted a print copy. So when I released my first relationship guide in August, I made sure a print and ebook version were both available.

It turned out to be a wise move.

From the time the book was released in August 2011 to the end of the year, about 65% of my sales were from physical books—mostly sold through Amazon.  By the time my second indie title came out in April 2012, the number of physical book sales had fallen to 55% of my total sales.

Then, that fall, something changed. September of 2012 I noticed for the first time that ebook sales had overtaken print sales. It wasn’t by a lot. In fact, total ebook copies only sold a total of five more copies then the print versions. I thought it was a fluke.

Turns out it was anything but.

After I looked at each monthly report, the number of ebook sales continued to skyrocket while the number of paper copies sold fell. When I released my latest book back in February, physical book had fallen all the way to 40% of my sales. In May, the last month of sales that are available, physical books only made up 35% of overall sales while ebooks made up 65%--an exact inverse of my sales when I started doing things on my own.

And the trend shows no sign of slowing down.

Keep in mind, the majority of my readers don’t own e-readers. The reason they’re embracing ebooks, at least what I can discern from reader feedback, is that they read them tablets like the iPad or on their smartphones. Technology has finally made it convenient for them to take advantage of the price and convenience of ebooks. In addition, they like the privacy that comes with ebooks. (Who wants to be seen in public reading a relationship guide?)

That means if you haven’t sold your stock in Barnes & Noble, now would be a great time to unload it.

In the future, there will probably always be a (small) demand for print books and I have no plans whatsoever to discontinue making print copies available for my upcoming novel and other non-fiction projects. As long as readers still what to buy them, I’ll keep producing them.

But those who say still a war between ebooks and physical books are deluding themselves. The war between print and ebooks is over. Ebooks have won—big time. All that’s left is mop-up operations.

Marrying a Widower Available from iTunes

Good news! Marrying a Widower is now available through iTunes and the Apple bookstore. Thanks for those readers who patiently waited while I navigated the iTunes approval process to get it in. There were a couple of formatting issues that kept cropping up with the manuscript, thus delaying the approval process. But it's up there now and will be so long as Apple runs an eBook store.

And for those who want to read Dating a Widower on their iPad or other Apple device, you can find it on iTunes here.

Early Stocking Stuffer

If you're a Vince Flynn fan or have one on your shopping list, you can get a free download of  his book Transfer of Power from December 22, 2011 through December 30, 2011. The free download is available through Kindle, Nook, Apple, and Kobo. If you haven't ready Vince Flynn but have an e-reader, this is a great way to check out one of his books without any cost. He's a great storyteller. I highly recommend his books.

Happy Holidays!

Amazon Didn't Blow It

I was a tad worried before Amazon announced their new Kindles. I knew they were going to launch a color version of their popular e-Reader but was concerned they’d mothball the E Ink (black and white) versions.

Thankfully I was wrong. The new Kindles keep the same screen size but are smaller, faster, and—most importantly—keep their E Ink technology.  Since I stare at a computer screen all day, the last think I want to do is read on another computer screen before I go to bed. My eyes enjoy the break. I will continue to be a Kindle customer so long as they keep this technology.

My only concern about the new touch version of the Kindle is that it appears they lost the buttons on the side of the Kindle. I really like those as I can keep my hand still as I read. Not sure how it’s going to feel wiping the screen every time I want to turn the page. I want to read, after all, not look at my smudges on the screen. Sadly the classic Kindle, which still keeps those side buttons, doesn’t come with a 3G version—which is way more convenient than the wireless ones.

Sadly I'll to wait until November to test one out.

Quick Dating a Widower Update

Quick Dating a Widower book update. I’m just waiting on a few marketing/PR related things before I make the official announcement. It will happen later this week. But for those who are dying to read it can find it now by going to Amazon or B&N website and searching for my name or the title of the book. It’s available in paperback and all major e-book formats. Also, like my other books, I’m offering personalized copies of Dating a Widower through my online store. If you'd like a personalized copy, please note that I’m short on copies right now. Those who have already ordered copies should have them mailed out this week. If you order today there might be a 10 or so day wait until I can ship them. If you want it faster than that order it via Amazon or some other online retailer.

Finally, I’ve received several emails from readers outside the US and Canada wondering how they can get a copy. If you want a hard copy the best way is to order it via Amazon or my web store. Readers in the UK or Germany who have Kindles can download it as an e-book here (UK) and here (DE).

Solving Our eBook Dilemma

Ever since I bought Marathon Girl a Kindle and we officially made the switch to eBooks, the problem we’ve run into is not enough eBook devices (one) for the two of us to share. I installed a Kindle reader on my laptop but quickly realized didn’t like reading a book off a computer screen. So for the past few months we’ve been forced to race to the Kindle to see who gets to use it. Since Marathon Girl is much faster than me—even when she’s pregnant—that means she gets to the Kindle first leaving me with the laptop or a paperback (shudder).

Thankfully we’ve found a solution—albeit from an unexpected source.

A few weeks ago I received an iPad 2 as a gift. After playing around with it for a few minutes the first thing I installed was the Kindle app. I didn’t have high hopes that this was going to solve our eBook problem as it has a back-lit screen but figured it couldn't hurt to try. Much to my surprise I actually enjoy reading eBooks on the iPad. I’m not sure if it’s because the screen is smaller than my computer, that I hold the screen at a different angle, or the fact that it’s lighter than my laptop. Whatever the reason I can actually read eBooks on it for long periods of time without getting the headache that accompanies reading them from my computer. As an added bonus Marathon Girl and I can even read the same book at the same time—something that’s really cool if it’s a book we’ve both been dying to read.

I still prefer the Kindle over the iPad (it's smaller, lighter, and has non-backlit screen) but I can live with using the iPad--at least until we find it in our budget to get another Kindle. Plus, I won't be losing Kindle races to Marathon Girl anymore. That will be a nice boost to my ego. :-)

Marathon Girl and Her Kindle

For our anniversary back in February I bought Marathon Girl a Kindle. Even though Marathon Girl’s an avid reader, I wasn’t sure how the gift would go over with her—after all she seemed just fine holding a paperback in her hands as she read herself to sleep at night.

For the first two or three weeks the Kindle went largely untouched because Marathon Girl had a stack of books on her nightstand that she wanted to finish. When she finished those books she picked up the Kindle and started reading the one eBook I bought along with the Kindle. And once she picked it up, hasn’t been able to put it down. Just a few of the things she loves about it include how she can resize the text, never lose her place, and look up words in the online dictionary that she’s not familiar with. Plus she likes the fact that she can download a book with a push of a button instead of having to go to a bookstore or library.

Though I’m happy the gift’s been a huge hit, it’s causing one problem in our otherwise wonderful marriage: there’s only one of them.

Yep, I love the Kindle just as much as Marathon Girl. But since we have only one, a minor (but friendly) argument can break out over who’s turn it is to use it. Alas, since the Kindle belongs to Marathon Girl and she gently reminds me of the books I need to spend time writing, I generally end up with the short end of the stick (a.k.a a paperback). So it looks like I’ll need to get my own Kindle before too long.

The good news is that there’s a rumor floating around that Kindles will be more or less free by Christmas. (First sign this might be true: there’s now an ad-sponsored version of the Kindle for $114.) And even if that turns out to be just a rumor, I’m sure we can save up the money for one by then. Until then I’ll just have to sneak in some personal Kindle time when Marathon Girl’s not looking. :-)

***

And speaking of Kindles, I’ve received many emails asking when The Third will be available in eBook format. Well, The Third is now available on Kindle. It should be available in other eBook formats soon.