Doing it His Way, at the Beach
Posted by Lise McClendon in Fave New Book, writing on Jun 17, 2011
Steve Brewer, thriller writer and funny guy, is the guest writer here today. Steve is known for his Rules for Successful Living, so when the first line of his new novel includes a rule, you have to take notice. “Never argue with a man whose tattoos outnumber his teeth.” And so it begins….
Cottage Industry By Steve Brewer
My new crime novel CALABAMA is the second one that I’ve published directly to Kindle and other e-book platforms, and I’ve gotta say: I’m delighted to be self-published.
Traditional publishers and small houses published my first 16 books, but I was never a bestseller. I was one of those “mid-list authors,” a vanishing breed until Kindle came along.
I give birth to a new novel about every nine months, faster than my agent can shop them around New York, so I always have a few manuscripts at hand. Plus, after 20 years as an author, I’ve got a big backlist, and I’ve managed to secure the e-book rights to nearly all those titles.
Over the past year, I’ve published my entire backlist and a new thriller, FIREPOWER, via Kindle and Smashwords. My books aren’t setting any sales records, but they’re doing pretty well, and I make as much off each $2.99 e-book as I’d clear on a $24 hardcover. Happy readers, no dead trees.
FIREPOWER was my first experiment with never-before-published material. It’s a fun thriller about a deadpan hitman and a woman inventor on the lam together, but it had fallen through the cracks when I changed agents (again) a couple of years ago. My wife designed a cover for it and we quietly put it out as an e-book last August. What do you know? Five-star reviews and decent sales.
So now I’m doing it again. CALABAMA is hillbilly noir in the vein of TV’s “Justified,” but set in the wilds of Northern California. I’m bringing it out June 15 on all e-book platforms, and I’ll be pumping the heck out of it all over the Internet. While I’m managing my publishing empire, I’m also doing revisions on another new novel, one that I know will be published, one way or the other.
Did I mention that I’m doing all this in my bathrobe? In a bungalow a block from the beach?
Hell, yeah, I’m happy to be self-published.
Steve Brewer is the author of 18 novels and a bunch of humor books. A former journalist and syndicated columnist, he lives in Santa Cruz, CA.
It’s a brave new world, and especially interesting to hear from someone who’s experienced both sides of it. Thanks for the interview, Steve & Lise!