Sunday, December 27, 2009

$0.99 Kindle-book tip: A Long Way from Disney

Here's a new Kindle book, for 99c, that has already received nine 5-star reviews from customers, A Long Way from Disney: stories of the 1980s.  Its author, Seth Harwood, already has a reputation for good crime fiction via his apparently popular podcast, but this book of short stories is said to be a nostalgic look at growing up in a world quite different from what was seen on TV in the 80s.  A typical review:
' This was a very different Seth than I read in "Jakes Wakes Up". These stories were quieter, sometimes darker, and always poignant.'
Give the customer reviews a look to see if the book might be of interest to you, for 99 cents.  It's rare for any book to get all 5-star reviews, but, a caveat: they may be from regular fans, who heard about it from his podcast.

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  1. seth harwood has actually written some thought provoking posts on the kindle over at the open culture blog. here's a post where most of his previous posts are linked and he explains what lead him to putting this book up in the first place:

    (fair warning: i'm the kurt he refers to in the piece and yes, i've bought a co-py of his book. i'm very much about encouraging people to get into the ebook market and the kindle ecosphere.)

  2. gren99,
    "Actually" ? I'm not sure his prior links are super helpful. I was recommending the book based on its apparent merit (from what customers who read it wrote) and its low-cost for what may be a quality offering. The content and tone were of interest to me.

    All I see from his previous thoughts are his amazingly retro thoughts about e-readers (just echoing what other disinterested people who'd never even tried an e-reader said) until he saw that other authors were making money from publishing on the Kindle.

    I don't see that as thought-provoking as much as just plain smart, on a marketing basis.

    At kindleboards, another smart regular there, had a following on that forum who gave his books high marks. That he was savvy enough to join the forum as a regular and make sure people knew about the book from another forum member (himself, and I do recommend this as a method but as a regular member, not someone popping in only to drop ads and then leave) was probably huge.

    Word of mouth got that book VERY high and it caught the eye of, I think, Simon & Schuster.
    And now he's signed with them.

    I sent that info to another author who along with her readers was lamenting the influence of the Kindle, as I thought she should do something similar as she had a devoted following on her writer's blog and is a sensitive writer.

    And she is a very open person, who has a Kindle even, but found it less interesting than others do. She at least had tried it. But the audience seemed bent on what the cover of a book adds, as well as the fonts and the 'look' of the pages.

    For me, it's about the words the author writes. I really don't care about the rest except in history, art, and travel books with photos and illustrations.

    But she already had a publisher possibly interested in one of her books so her disinterest was understandable. An earlier book was a prospect for the Kindle, but she didn't seem enthused by the idea.

    Recently, another author who's been a regular at the Amazon forums (without only dropping ads, which grates) had her book optioned for a film. The crowd shared her elation over that.

    Like you, I encourage good writers to start self-publishing before everyone does and then few would stand out.

    However, word of mouth is important. If one has a badly-written book, it won't go very far.

    I plan to read Seth's book someday myself but currently have too many books on my Kindle that I haven't finished reading yet. But I'll likely download it.


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