Editor’s Picks: Another big batch of fresh Kindle freebies

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He’s often derided as a hack, a second-rate talent, an obnoxious huckster. But Joe Konrath has laughed all the way to the bank, raking in $1 million in royalties since 2009 from his mystery, thriller and horror books.

Despite his success, Joe is better known for how his books are published, rather than the books themselves. And Amazon’s Kindle figures prominently in this story.

konrathAfter leaving Chicago’s Columbia College in 1992, Joe spent the next dozen years writing nine manuscripts and collecting 500 rejections for them.

His 10th book was the charm. Whisky Sour was picked up by Hyperion, launching his series featuring Lieutenant Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels of the Chicago Police Department.

But Joe was irked. He still couldn’t find a publisher for his first nine books. Not Hyperion, not anybody.

So, rather than watch his manuscripts collect dust for another dozen years, he published them himself using Amazon’s Kindle self-publishing website. That’s when he really started selling books, and folks in the literary world finally noticed him. But a lot of them didn’t like what they were seeing.

Traditions die hard. Hundreds of authors and agents railed against Konrath’s insistence on publishing his own work, arguing that no professional stoops to self-publication. Period, end of story. As author Mike Cane put it, “Well, it seems Konrath is still smarting over novels 1-9 and is still shocked they weren’t good enough.”

To counter his critics, Konrath started a blog, A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing, where he dispenses advice to fledgling writers.

To distill Konrath’s advice to three sentences, it’s this: Authors must take responsibility for their own success or failure. Don’t wait for someone else to champion your book because the odds are, nobody will. So, once you’ve polished your manuscript, get off your duff, rattle some cages, and bang on enough doors until it’s published — or do it yourself.

It’s hard to argue with Konrath’s results. Instead of making a nickel or two for each of the mass-market paperbacks his publisher might sell, he’s made a dollar or two for each Kindle book. And instead of selling a measly ten or twenty thousand paperbacks like before, he’s moved hundreds of thousands via Kindle. And he’s done it with the same manuscripts every traditional publisher in the country left in their slush pile.

Joe is still at it, writing and publishing more books. Today’s top pick is The List, which he self-published in 2010 on the Kindle and in paperback using Amazon’s CreateSpace service. It’s a technothriller, a departure for Konrath. As you might expect, a lot of people love it, and a lot of people hate it.

“There will always be people who don’t like you, and don’t like your books,” Konrath says. “Ignore them. Trust me, it is liberating to be free of the opinions of strangers.”

As usual, each book listed here has gone FREE within the past 24 hours (except for the “Kindle Daily Deals” on page 3). Warning: Kindle book promotions can end without notice, so before downloading click the link “See Kindle price at Amazon” to verify that the book is still free. (Prices and availability may differ outside USA.)

The List

Mysteries & Thillers
Author: J.A. Konrath, Jack Kilborn

The List

Ten people have tattoos of numbers on the bottoms their feet and don’t know why.

One of them, a Chicago Homicide cop named Tom Mankowski, has had one of these strange tattoos since birth. When he investigates a violent murder and discovers the victim also has a tattooed number, it sets the ball rolling for an adventure of historic proportions.

Jenna’s Cowboy (The Callahans of Texas Book #1): A Novel

Religious Fiction

Author: Sharon Gillenwater

Jenna's Cowboy (The Callahans of Texas Book #1): A Novel

Jenna Callahan has a young son and rewarding work on her father’s ranch. She’s content. But she never expected to see Nate Langley back in town–the first guy she noticed, the one her father sent away all those years ago. And she never thought the attraction they felt would be as strong as ever.

Jenna’s cowboy has some healing of his own to do, though, after two tours of duty in the armed forces. With the help of good friends, strong faith, and a loving family, he hopes to put the horrors of the past behind him–and become the man Jenna deserves.

Too Close to Home (Women of Justice Book #1): A Novel

Religious Fiction

Author: Lynette Eason

Too Close to Home (Women of Justice Book #1): A Novel

Samantha Cash is the FBI’s secret weapon. Her methods are invisible, and she never stops until the case is closed. When missing teens begin turning up dead in a small Southern town, Samantha is assigned to help local chief Connor Wolfe find the killer. And he has two problems with that. There’s her faith–in God and herself. And then there’s the fact that she looks exactly like his late wife.

As they get close to an answer, the case becomes personal. The killer seems to be taking an interest in Connor’s 16-year-old daughter, who thinks her dad is getting way too protective. Can’t a girl just have some fun?

KILLER (A Jack Rhodes Mystery)

Horror

Author: Stephen Carpenter

KILLER (A Jack Rhodes Mystery)

Jack Rhodes is an author and former boxer who was on his way to literary success when his life was blown apart by the horrific suicide of his fiancee.

Devastated, Jack went on a fifteen-month alcoholic spiral into near-oblivion before eventually working past his demons to become a best-selling crime novelist. But just as Jack is finishing his fourth book about a vicious serial killer, the LAPD interrupts his quiet routine with news of what appears to be a copycat murder from his first book. There’s just one problem–the murder took place before Jack’s book was published.

Stalk me. (The Keatyn Chronicles)

Teens

Author: Jillian Dodd

Stalk me. (The Keatyn Chronicles)

Keatyn has everything she ever dreamed. Her life is following the script she wrote for the perfect high school experience. She’s popular, goes to the best parties, dates the hottest guy, and sits at the most-coveted lunch table.

She’s just not sure she wants it anymore. Because, really, things aren’t all that perfect. Her best friend is threatening to tell everyone her perfect relationship is a scam. Her perfect boyfriend gets drunk at every party they go to. It’s exhausting always trying to look and act perfect.

And, deep down, she isn’t sure if she has any true friends.

The Glimpse: A Vision of America’s Future – Top Rated

Religious Fiction

Author: Grant Carroll

The Glimpse: A Vision of America's Future - Top Rated

Austin Kelly is about to learn a lesson: Be careful when you pray for God to change you, because He answers prayer. Even though he’s a Sunday School teacher, Austin’s faith in Jesus Christ is no match for his fear of rejection from others.

Lizzie Kelly has more courage than her husband, but struggles to find fulfillment and meaning in her job at their church. The couple’s friends aren’t faring much better. Computer tech Daniel Cabrera fights disappointment with the direction his career has taken, and even more frustration with the church youth he teaches. His wife, Jackie, strives to maintain a sense of control over her life, but it’s quickly faltering. Faced with churches dying across New York City, the four Christian teachers have a cry in their hearts for their lives to make a difference.

Walking on Broken Glass

Women’s Fiction

Author: Christa Allan

Walking on Broken Glass

Leah Thornton’s life, like her Southern Living home, has great curb appeal. But a paralyzing encounter with a can of frozen apple juice in the supermarket shatters the façade, forcing her to admit that all is not as it appears. When her best friend gets in Leah’s face about her refusal to deal with her life and her drinking, Leah is forced to make a decision. Can this brand-conscious socialite walk away from the country club into 28 days of rehab?

The Big 5-OH!

Religious Fiction

Author: Sandra D. Bricker

The Big 5-OH!

Olivia Wallace has a birthday curse . . . or so she thinks. It was a broken heart on her 16th, a car accident on her 21st, pneumonia on her 30th, and a fall down a flight of stairs on her 35th. There were Ohio blizzards on her 38th, 39th, and 40th; and six days before her 45th, she lost the love of her life to a heart attack. Numbing grief stole that birthday and a couple more to follow and, on the morning of her 48th birthday, she received the call she’d dreaded ever since losing her mom so many years ago…she was diagnosed with stage-3 ovarian cancer.

Seven Patients

Mystery & Thrillers

Author: Atul Kumar

Seven Patients

Getting into medical school was easy. The hard part was staying out of jail.

Third year medical student Raj Mok is excited about starting his clinical rotations. Finally, he’ll be taking care of real patients instead of just reading about diagnoses and treatments in his countless medical tomes. Unfortunately, Raj quickly learns that patients don’t behave like his beloved books led him to believe.

The death of his very first patient is a shock. She never even had a chance at life.

Threads That Bind (The Havoc Chronicles)

Fantasy

Author: Brant Williams

Threads That Bind (The Havoc Chronicles)

At 16, Madison has accepted herself for who she is: smart and witty, but overweight with thick glasses and the social life of a Tibetan monk. Everything changes the summer before her junior year of high school when her eyesight inexplicably corrects itself, and she begins to rapidly lose weight. However, her new look comes with an unexpectedly expensive price. Madison’s first kiss with the boy she has had a crush on for years triggers powers she can’t control, almost killing him.

Covert Reich

Mystery & Thrillers

Author: A.K. Alexander

Covert Reich

When three pregnant, homeless women die within a week of one another inside the emergency room of County Hospital in East Los Angeles, Dr. Kelly Morales begins to question why and how. When Dr. Morales attempts to question her colleague pathologist Dr. Jake Hamilton he becomes agitated and obviously anxious at her questions. Hours later Dr. Hamilton is murdered.

Terrorized and brutalized chemist Dr. Ryan Horner is being held against his will. He knows that if he does not do the bidding of a group who call themselves The Brotherhood that the lives of his wife and children are at grave risk.

Darklandia

Children’s eBooks

Author: T.S. Welti

Darklandia

Manhattan, 2147: Seventeen-year-old Sera Fisk gleefully celebrates the death of her 114-year-old great-grandmother, the last Atraxian alive who still remembers what New York was like before Felicity.

There is only one principle of Felicity: Suffering is optional. Those who disagree or forget this principle, as Sera’s father did, are detained and “purified”. Through the use of the Darklandia virtual reality and mandatory water rations, the Department of Felicity has transformed metropolises all over the country into happy, obedient communities.

Organic Food: Eating Organic on a Budget

Cooking, Food & Wine

Author: Fanny Seto

Organic Food: Eating Organic on a Budget

Do you want to eat healthy food but wish it was more affordable? Do you wonder whether to buy or not to buy organic foods? Which organic produce is worth buying?

Here is an easy-to-read guide designed for busy people, on how to eat healthy and natural food on a small budget:

  • Where to find organic coupons and deals so you don’t have to pay full price
  • How to save up to 50% off organic produce
  • Food Shoppers Guide: When groceries go on sale so you can stock up
  • Where to get deals on organic meat
  • What fruits and vegetables you can buy conventional, with peace of mind

Playtime with Monster

Children’s eBooks

Author: Michael Yu, Rachel Yu

Playtime with Monster

Eric hates taking a bath. Eric hates brushing his teeth. Eric hates putting on his pajamas. Let’s face it, Eric hates getting ready for bed.

Thankfully, Eric’s mom and dad have the perfect plan to help their little boy. Find out what a plate of chocolate chip cookies and a monster has to do with it.


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Downtown Green: Green Series Book 5

Religion & Spirituality

Author: Judy Christie

Downtown Green: Green Series Book 5

When the short bypass around Green opens with much fanfare, downtown dries up faster than cement on the roadway. Businesses close and the hospital becomes a clinic. Mayor Eva must decide whether to sell her historic store or close it. The Holey Moley Antique Mall seems less like a dream and more like a nightmare. While the road is progress to some, it seems to be leading Green toward a national trend–a town that is merely a shadow of itself.

SteamDrunks: 101 Steampunk Cocktails and Mixed Drinks

Cooking, Food & Wine

Author: Chris-Rachael Oseland, Vicktoria Riley

SteamDrunks: 101 Steampunk Cocktails and Mixed Drinks

Escorts you through the treacherous waters of 19th century mixology. You’ll find authentic Victorian punch recipes that could be confused for farmer’s cheese, tea recipes which will knock you out rather than wake you up, and downright chewable eggy cream curdles.

Along the way, you’ll also find some shockingly tasty 19th century recipes made from all natural ingredients you already have at home.

Whether you’re looking for a delicate cocktail to impress a fine corset clad lady or industrial quantities of affordable Victorian punch to serve the entire crew of your airship, you’ll find the perfect Steampunk themed drink inside the pages of SteamDrunks.

Dark Isle (Celtic Legacy Book 2)

World Literature

Author: Shannon Mayer

Dark Isle (Celtic Legacy Book 2)

When evil begets evil, a choice is forced on Quinn, the one person who can see the danger. Does she save the ones she loves, or does she save the world from Chaos?

As the realms of Fae and human collide, Quinn’s future has never looked so grim, or so damn impossible.

Dragon Isle (The Legend of Vanx Malic)

Fantasy

Author: M. R. Mathias

Dragon Isle (The Legend of Vanx Malic)

Vanx, Trevin, and Darbon, along with Prince Russet and the crew of the Sea Hawk, sail to Vanx’s homeland to find an old friend who just might know the wyrm lore needed to make their quest to Dragon Isle seem survivable.

Meanwhile Coll and Duke Martin have set their shadowy schemes in motion in Dyntalla where Quazar is keeping the princess from death with all he has.

The Life and Prayers of Saint Jude the Apostle

Biographies & Memoirs

Author: Wyatt North

The Life and Prayers of Saint Jude the Apostle

One part biography, one part prayer book, The Life and Prayers of Saint Jude the Apostle is an essential book for any Christian. Also known as Saint Jude Thaddeous, Saint Jude is known as the most powerful Patron Saint of Desperate Cases. Christians turn to Saint Jude for hope in what often seem like hopeless circumstances. Whether it an illness in the family, a dissolving marriage, or financial struggles, Saint Jude answers our calls when we are at our darkest hour.

Absence of Grace

Contemporary Fiction

Author: Ann Warner

Absence of Grace

The memory of an act committed when she was nineteen weaves a dark thread through Clen McClendon’s life. It is a darkness Clen ignores until the discovery of her husband’s infidelity propels her on a quest for redemption and forgiveness. Her journeying is providing few answers and peace remains elusive, even during the time she spends in an abbey. But when Clen makes a decision that is both desperate and random to go to Wrangell, Alaska, she will learn choices are never truly random and they always have consequences.

Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter

Children’s eBooks

Author: Nikki Jefford

Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter

If there is one thing eighteen-year-old Aurora Sky wants, it’s to get off the iceberg she calls home. Being kissed before she graduates wouldn’t hurt either.
Then a near-fatal car wreck changes everything. Government agents step in and save Aurora’s life in exchange for her services as a vampire hunter. In Alaska. Basically she’s a glorified chew toy. All thanks to her rare blood type, which sends a vampire into temporary paralysis before she has to finish the job…by hand.

THE YELLOW CLUTCH SOCIETY

Arts & Entertainment

Author: Denesha Sheree

THE YELLOW CLUTCH SOCIETY

The Yellow Clutch Society opens a private door to a secret society that spins a yarn which hits every novella sweet spot: seduction, betrayal, jealousy, sex, suspense. Enter the lives of Nissi, Brittany and Sedericka as they enter a secret society that holds the key to wealth and power, but also holds a secret within the society.

Humongous Hippopotamus – Indoor Explorer Picture Book (Certified Silly)

Children’s eBooks

Author: Michael Wills

Humongous Hippopotamus - Indoor Explorer Picture Book (Certified Silly)

Gives a fantastic insight into the minds, lives and imaginations of these fascinating creatures: from feeding to sleeping to swimming. And then back to feeding again.

Résumés Are Dead and What to Do About It

Business & Investing

Author: Richie Norton

Résumés Are Dead and What to Do About It

Learn how to design a career that supports your quest for both money and meaning—providing you the freedom to pursue your dreams and live your ideal lifestyle.
This is career development reworked, unconventional and results-driven. Whether you’re retired, in the middle of your career, fresh out of college, or have been hit hard by economic crisis, this book is chock-full of powerful, raw principles that will help you find your footing, contribute to the world in meaningful ways, and simultaneously create your ideal lifestyle.

… See the rest of today’s Editor’s Picks and the Kindle Daily Deal here on page 2

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