Lindsay Buroker edition: Kindle freebie Editor’s Picks
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Indie fantasy author Lindsay Buroker has built a huge fan base over the past couple of years by self-publishing her unique brand of Emperor’s Edge novels, novellas, short stories and audiobooks.
One reviewer called the series the “A-team of Steam,” and it fits. This is a steam-age fantasy world where the main characters are outlaws who don’t quite deserve the bounties on their heads. They’re trying to clear their names and thwart some plots against the emperor as well. Instead of “Hannibal” for the head schemer, this team is led by a woman, Amaranthe Lokdon, and she’s got just enough charisma to talk her fellow outlaws into going along with her crazy ideas.
Lindsay is a child of the 80s who grew up watching TV shows like the A-team and MacGyver, the sort of campy action stories that are nearly extinct nowadays. As a youngster, she also read tons of historical fiction, especially colonial and frontier era stuff (Jack London, Mark Twain), and a whole lot of middle-grade novels starring sled dogs and wolves. As a teen, Lindsay devoured fantasy, and not necessarily the highbrow kind.
Reaching adulthood and becoming pickier about reading material, it dawned on her that nobody was writing those beloved, campy — yet not totally-silly — high fantasy stories she loved reading. Bookstore shelves that had once been filled with swords-and-sorcery and heroic fantasy were overrun with paranormal romances and urban fantasy. Fine stuff for those who enjoy it, but not Lindsay’s cup of tea.
“I figured if there were stories I wanted to see, the only way I could make sure they came into existence was to write them myself,” Lindsay told me yesterday.
So she did. She got serious about it in 2009, buckling down and finishing Book 1 (which tops today’s Buffet). She was all ready to start writing Book 2, then realized that there was no plan for selling the first one yet. She wasn’t sure if she had the patience to shop it around to agents for a couple of years — and really doubted she’d find one at all. The book couldn’t be pigeonholed into any of the categories literary scouts look for these days. Steampunk? High Fantasy? Really? No, Lindsay’s stuff didn’t fit into the formula of what today’s literary agent assumes will sell.
Around that time, Lindsay bought a Kindle, and she also stumbled onto the popular self-publishing how-to blog by J.A. Konrath. She thought things over and figured that if she was going to get lots of people to read Emperor’s Edge within a couple of years, self publishing was her best shot.
It’s worked out pretty well. And Lindsay encourages other writers with unusual styles to do the same thing — to write what you love, without worrying if it fits into someone else’s preconceived notion of what’s good.
“Writers should write the kinds of stories they want to read, and not worry about whether those tales fit into a certain genre — or whether that genre is popular right now,” she said. “The Internet makes it possible to find an audience for anything.”
The recent shift toward eBooks gave Lindsay a good tailwind, too. She’s moving thousands of eBooks per month, while her paperback sales are fewer than 100 most months. And therein lies the quandary for those fledgling authors clinging to an obsolete model of the “successful” career — waiting around a couple years for an agent to bite, waiting another year for your editor to finish (if you’re serious about publishing yourself, you can hire your own editor and give them your deadline), the production of tons of paper books which decorate the shelves of chain bookstores for a few months and then are mostly pulped or tossed into the bargain bin. Huh? That’s success? The truth is, readers expect paperbacks to cost less than $10, which is nearly impossible when you’re self-publishing longer-form fiction. But with eBooks, Lindsay can price novels at $4.95, undercut the New York publishers, and still reap generous royalties exceeding $3 per download.
The runaway digital success now possible for offbeat artists like Lindsay isn’t quite within reach of nonfiction authors, not yet. Nonfiction readers, especially with reference or how-to books, still prefer having a physical copy in their hands or within reach on their bookshelf. Sure, widely read nonfiction is starting to sell on the Kindle, but most nonfiction authors still earn the lion’s share of their royalties with paperback sales. Besides, for nonfiction writers, making a profit on the book isn’t necessarily the point. The nonfiction book is often a lead-generation tool, a gateway to the author’s webinars, consulting, video courses, and other higher-ticket products and services.
The professionally produced audiobook versions of her Emperor’s Edge novels clearly place Lindsay into the category of elite indie because she’s made the investment. Certainly she could have narrated and produced the audio herself. Instead, Lindsay shelled out the cash for a pro, Starla Huchton at Darkfire Productions, a Colorado firm that produces audiobooks, working directly with many indie authors. They handle the distribution and production, and in Lindsay’s case it’s been well worth the money. All her audio content is offered free in the form of chapter-by-chapter podcast episodes through iTunes or Podiobooks.com. Alternatively, fans can buy the complete audiobooks, sans the repetitive intros and outros, by using their membership credits at Audible.com.
So the audio, which Lindsay originally assumed would 100 percent free, has turned into a publicity tool and revenue stream. “I’d originally intended to just keep everything free, as a way to get more people to check out my world, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised that the audiobooks are selling on Audible since we put them up there,” she told me.
Author: Lindsay Buroker
Imperial law enforcer Amaranthe Lokdon is good at her job: she can deter thieves and pacify thugs, if not with a blade, then by toppling an eight-foot pile of coffee canisters onto their heads. But when ravaged bodies show up on the waterfront, an arson covers up human sacrifices, and a powerful business coalition plots to kill the emperor, she feels a tad overwhelmed.Worse, Sicarius, the empire’s most notorious assassin, is in town. He’s tied in with the chaos somehow, but Amaranthe would be a fool to cross his path. Unfortunately, her superiors order her to hunt him down. Either they have an unprecedented belief in her skills… or someone wants her dead.
Author: Leonard Pitts
Since 1976, when he began writing while still attending the University of Southern California, Leonard Pitts’ columns have been winning awards, including the Pulitzer and five National Headliner Awards.
This book collects his best newspaper pieces, along with selected longer works. The book is arranged chronologically under three broad subject headings: Waiting for Someday to Come,” about children and family; White Men Can’t Jump (and Other Stupid Myths),” about race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and other fault lines of American culture; and Forward from this Moment,” about life after the September 11 attacks, spirituality, American identity, and Britney Spears.
This is the essential collection from one of America’s most recognized and treasured voices.
Biographies & Memoirs
Author: Bryan Wood
Bryan Wood is a military veteran who served during combat operations in Eastern Afghanistan. After returning from combat, he found that his life was falling apart at every turn, and Bryan faced the greatest battle of his life in finding his own peace. He surprisingly found the answer was hidden within a daily journal kept while at war, and Bryan’s path ultimately led him to find redemption in the most unexpected of places: love.
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Author: Tom Lowe
Glenda Lawson believes her husband was the only U.S. serviceman shot and killed on American soil during World War II. But in 1945, investigators ruled that Billy Lawson died in a “mugging turned ugly.”
In 2012, Sean O’Brien, learning the ropes of commercial fishing, gets his anchor caught on something underwater. He discovers a German U-boat partially buried in sand, and inside is a frightening cargo. The media pick up the story, and a 35-year-old woman who has a haunting tale, visits O’Brien. Her grandfather, Billy Lawson, was fishing one night on a Florida beach when he saw something very disturbing.
The last thing Sean O’Brien wants is to investigate a sixty-seven-year-old murder. But Billy Lawson’s granddaughter and his cancer-stricken widow are desperate for closure. For O’Brien to bring it to them he has to pry the lid off a secret buried with the Manhattan Project. It’s information that got Billy Lawson killed, and O’Brien soon learns the old murder and his new discovery at the bottom of the sea are inextricably knotted. O’Brien is thrust into a world where nothing is as it appears, and everything is riding on a secret Billy Lawson took to his grave.
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Author: J.D. Faver
A terrified woman erases her past to escape her abusive husband. Taking her children, she disappears from Texas only to reinvent herself as a teacher in a remote Alaskan village. She fights to survive the harsh environment, while ever mindful of the danger stalking her.A complication emerges in the form of her new boss who is unaware of her entanglement and pursues her with a passion. Hungry for a father figure, her young children immediately take to him, but she is haunted by the cruel man who battered her. Can a good man heal her scars and gain her trust?
Author: Aida Brassington
There are things Patrick Boyle will never forget: the sound of his own neck breaking at the moment of his death in the fall of 1970, the sweet taste of his mother’s chocolate cake, and the awful day his parents abandoned him in his childhood house-turned prison.
Nineteen-year-old Patrick wonders for decades if God has forgotten all about him or if he’s being punished for some terrible crime or sin over a lovely forty years trapped in an empty home. But when Sara Oswald, a strange woman with a mysterious past, buys his house, old feelings reawaken, and a new optimism convinces him that she’s the answer to his prayers.
Advice & How-to
Author: Bruce Robb Steinberg
Enjoy the music, politics, fashion, televison and movie fare of the 1960s. Did you know that 2 days before the blizzard of 1967 that brought the Midwest to a halt, it was a balmy 65 degrees? Or that Wild Thing by the Troggs kicked the Beatle’s Paperback Writer off the top of the pop charts? Or that Gomer Pyle USMC replaced the Dick Van Dyke Show? These details unique to 1966 and 1967 also include the Apollo 1 disaster, what young men did to avoid the draft and Vietnam, and President Johnson’s conclusion in 1966 that the Vietnam War had been as good as won. All of this incredible history, accurately researched and woven into this incredible story without a seam, presents a historic backdrop for a powerful tale of survival – and the detemination of a neighborhood filled with beloved nuts and bolts who go beyond the call to save a broken family. And it all begins with these words of a child’s lament – When I hear the news I want to jump on the dining room clock and make time go backwards . . .
Author: Heather Bowhay
College-bound Lexi Adams leads no ordinary life. Premonitions dictate her every move, compelling her to rescue strangers day and night. After years of self-sacrifice, she decides to ignore one, but innocent people die. So, when the next premonition depicts her own death, Lexi is faced with the decision of a lifetime. As if an ill-fated future isn’t enough to deal with, a series of strange illnesses and murders devastate her small town, and co-worker Jessica Nelson insists Lexi can help.
According to Jessica, everyone is born with an inner energy called Essence. Only a select few, Amethysts, can control Essence and heal people. Jessica claims to be an Amethyst and asks Lexi to join her and a group of her friends as they track the murderers. Despite her personal plight, Lexi considers joining them.
Author: Julian Rosado-Machain
A chance reading of a newspaper ad will send 16 year old Thomas Byrne into the world within our world.
Following the ad he will find Guardians Incorporated. A seven thousand year old organization charged with protecting the balance between Magic and technology.
Through their guidance technology has kept Magic at bay since the Renaissance, but the balance is shifting and soon all those creatures we’ve driven into myth and legend will come back with a vengeance.
To protect the present, Guardians Incorporated needs to know the future and to unlock the future they need a cypher.
Literature & Fiction
Author: Bernard M. Cox
Bert discovers the salt in an ordinary salt shaker gives him the power to see his life through the eyes of his deceased wife. This magical realist short story is the first story in The Space Within These Lines collection exploring memory and loss in an effort to show that which connects all people, the power of love.
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Author: Jo Robertson
Forensic psychiatrist Kate Myers believes the killer of two teenage girls in Bigler County, California, is the same man who savagely murdered her twin sister over fifteen years ago. Working with a single-minded tenacity, she sets out to prove it.
Deputy Sheriff Ben Slater hides his personal pain behind the job, but Kate’s arrival in his county knocks his world on its axis. He wants to believe her wild theory, but the idea of a serial killer with the kind of pathology she proposes is too bizarre.
Together they work to find a killer whose roots began in a small town in Bigler County, but whose violence spread across the nation. A Janus-like killer, more monster than man, he fixates on Kate. The killer wants nothing more than to kill the “purple-eyed girl again.”
Author: Richard C Hale
For Jake Townsend, the loss was shattering. And every night for the past two years, he has relived the horror of what happened. The moonless night. The piercing screams. The horrific crash. The night his wife was taken from him. The last time he saw her alive.
Everyone tells him to move on. But for Jake, there can be no closure. A message appears in his dreams–a warning he is reluctant to heed.
The omens ignored, Jake finds himself caught between the desire to see his beloved wife again and disrupting the delicate balance of life and death. The technology he developed has shown him the path, and others will do anything to use it, but at what price?
He must choose, and the consequences may ultimately shatter his world.
Author: Alex Adena
Annie Grace grew up as the daughter of a faith healing crusader who told her she could perform miracles. But 25 years later, after she has inherited her late father’s ministry, Annie’s only remaining conviction is that she is a fraud — a fear she must face when the district attorney confronts her about the ministry’s past. As a pesky television reporter hounds her and a U.S. senator subpoenas her to testify before Congress, Annie is forced to reveal the truth to herself and to the world. When she does, mysterious things begin to happen. What is the meaning of these signs and wonders?
Author: John A. Heldt
In 2000, Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity. He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can’t use, money he can’t spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of Whirlaway, swing dancing, and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books. But when an opportunity comes to return to the present, Joel must decide whether to leave his new love in the past or choose a course that will alter their lives forever.
Parenting & Relationships
Author: Alan Yau
Theory is great, but as a busy parent of a young child with autism, what you would really like is a practical guide: with ideas, tips and strategies that you can use right away.
Oh, and you want a book that is concise and easy to understand, right?
This book is what you’re looking for.
Think of this book as a collection of sparks. Real sparks ignite fires. The sparks in this book will ignite ideas in your head about how to teach your child with autism.
Author: Fiona Robyn
Leonard Mutch has just discovered his wife was lying to him for years – but can he bear to uncover the truth?
Leonard and Rose Mutch were happily married for forty years. But after her sudden death, Leonard is shocked to find a train ticket in her handbag to a town Rose had never visited. Then a letter arrives from a childhood friend of Rose’s, hinting at a past she never told him about.
Reluctantly embarking on an investigation into the life of the woman he thought he knew as well as himself, Leonard is faced with questions that threaten to destroy his happy memories. Why did Rose secretly leave work every Tuesday? Why did she tell lies about her family? And why is their daughter so desperate for him to stop digging into the past?
Humor & Entertainment
Author: John Hartnett
The Barber’s Conundrum and Other Stories is more than just a collection of thirty-seven short literary humor pieces that will make you laugh. It provides a treasure trove of tips and invaluable advice to help you navigate safely through marriage and relationships, raising kids and to finally understand the more peculiar aspects of day to day living that up until now, had been tossed into a big heap as just another one of God’s mysteries.
Author: Ken Brosky, Chris Smith
For science fiction and horror fans only, this book contains 6 previously published and unpublished short stories by Ken Brosky.
Author: Renee’ Irvin
It is the deep South in the 1880’s, a time when the South is still reeling from its bitter defeat in the Civil War, vainly struggling to live with post-war reconstruction. Meet Jules McGinnis, Rhett Butler reincarnated who has managed to transform himself from a Confederate soldier into a wealthy businessman by taking advantage of the broken South. Through arrogance and false conceit, he marries the woman he doesn’t love and loves the one he will not marry. Then there is Isabella McCoy, one whose youth was snatched by her rape by the one she despises, forcing her to abandon her dream of a life with the one she truly loves. And finally there is Jacqueline Roussea, a beautiful French creole “prostitute” fearful of true love who manages to avoid sex by drugging her clientele.
Author: Mary Lee
Mia is a sweet little girl with a big imagination. She has lots of fun playing pirate, having tea with a mermaid and flying with rainbow-swans. In this adventure filled story, a girl has no limit on what she can be.
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Author: Polly Iyer
Psychologist Abigael Gallant fought her way back from her ex-husband’s brutal attack that killed their daughter and left her blind. Now she “reads” audio books, runs with a guide at a local track, and has a thriving practice that specializes in treating the newly disabled. The last thing she needs is another man in her life.
Enter Detective Luke McCallister, a cop forced into counseling a year after a gun blast during a meth lab take-down robbed him of his hearing. Luke is fighting hard to stay on the force, but computer work and fingerprint analysis are not what he has in mind. Initially reluctant to Abby’s therapy, Luke’s barriers tumble because Abby sees deeper into him than anyone ever cared to.
Cookbooks, Food & Wine
Author: Ruth Naylor
After years of struggling with bloat, sluggishness and irritability, Ruth Naylor finally discovered that she, like many other people, was gluten intolerant. She didn’t like the idea of never again eating her favorite foods, so she went to work researching the best possible substitutes, without all the unhealthy ingredients!
Author: Christopher Hopper, Sue Kenney
The only way to survive is to kill the ones you love.
Having barely escaped the siege of Adriel with his life, Luik is carried north to the realm of Tontha in an effort to weather Morgui’s all-out assault on Dionia. Here he sorts through the trauma of the recent past and attempts to piece together the whereabouts of his scattered Dibor, as well as his friends Fane, Hadrian, and Princess Anorra.
When work begins on fortifying Mt. Dakka, Luik returns to the wreckage of Adriel and uncovers far more than he had anticipated. Events unfold quickly, and his path is plagued by mysterious encounters with the taken, and haunted by the increasing effects of evil upon Creation.
Author: Wale Olulana
Storms of life are real. However, not all storms can be explained, forecasted or foretold by prophecy. Most people are aware that life may take an unusual twist and they tend to brace up for this. Many would like to think they know what they can or cannot do in any situation, the reality is, you do not know what things you are capable of doing until you are put under fire. There are storms that can confound theories, astound imagination, render foolish the wisdom of the wise and dumbfound the strong.
Storms carry the element of redefining times, seasons and events which carry a general meaning to you until you have encountered storms. They can hit the most secured, spiritual, sound minded or otherwise. We are to prepare for war in the time of peace, this book will tell you how.
Religion & Spirituality
Author: Victoria Lancer
You’ve heard about Superfoods and Super Fruits. About healthy foods and healthy eating. But do you know what the Super Fruits are and how to use them for the greatest nutrition and health benefits? Which Super Fruits are best at enhancing your libido and which are best at reducing your cholesterol?
Yes, they say that ‘Life is a Bowl of Cherries,’ and you may be surprised that tart cherries have higher antioxidant levels than cranberries. But there is more to life than just cherries.
This book covers Super Fruits from A to Z, from Apples to Watermelon . . . their nutritional value, their health benefits, and how best to include them in your diet. It is a guide to the most nutrient dense fruits you can buy.
Advice & How-to
Author: Nicole Deese
If guilt is a prison; Victoria Sales has given herself a life sentence. Held captive by regret, 23 year-old trauma RN, Tori Sales, has seen the reality of many nightmares. But there is one nightmare she will never wake from—her last memory of Anna. Her efforts to save the little girl were not enough; she was not enough.
… See the rest of today’s Editor’s Picks and the Kindle Daily Deal here on page 2