How Amazon Prime is now taking book sales away from indie authors. Seriously.

I kbook iconnow we are not supposed to speak badly of those who help feed us, but I want to tell you about the newest ‘benefit’ for Amazon Prime members–all 54 million of them in the U.S. Now those members can read free books–any or all–from a Thousand Book reading list for Prime Members.

This is separate from Kindle Unlimited’s all-you-can-read program of books enrolled in KDP Select where authors are paid by the number of pages read.

These are a Thousand Books selected by Amazon for Prime members only.  A closer look at this list reveals that over 80%+ of the works of fiction are published by Amazon imprints, like Thomas and Mercer.  And most of them appear to be Book 1 of a trilogy.

Very clever marketing by Amazon.  You get Book 1 for free and buy the next two. Book promoters like Bookbub, Read Cheaply and Free Booksy have been facilitating this type of marketing for years.  But it is not so good for us indies and traditional or small publishers and those book promoters. Even Bookbub, which is arguably the most important of the discount/bargain book promoters, does not have a list of 54 million would-be book buyers.

There are also non-fiction offerings in the Thousand Books, including Lonely Planet guides to practically every country on the planet, plus a lot of books about crafts. So if you were thinking about leaving your day job to live off your earnings as a fiction writer, maybe you should wait a little bit and see how this all plays out.

As for me…I abandoned writing fiction some time ago and two of my non-fiction guides, on the right, continue to sell.  The ‘How Seniors Travel for Fun and Profit’ is, in fact, a best seller and has been for over six weeks now. But I think this turn of events will seriously impact the writing future of many indie authors.


‘New Vampire Online’ is free on Kindle on June 6 and June 7th. It’s a humorous tale of Los Angeles vampires.

New Vampire Online cover

Cate the Vampire has a new website and problems keep springing up everywhere!


Okay.  You know the routine.

‘New Vampire Online’ is now on Kindle:

And you can get the first in the series, ‘New Vampire in Town’:

Enjoy!  (And please leave a review!)

Free sexy romance novel on Feb. 5th and 6th on Kindle. It’s entitled ‘Playing for Julia’

Playing for Julia ebook cover

February 5th and 6th, Playing for Julia is FREE on Kindle.

On Wednesday and Thursday, February 5th and 6th, my x-rated romance novel, Playing for Julia, is FREE on Kindle.   It is a very sexy romance novel.  Like thousands of other women I read 50 Shades and said to myself–I can write better than that!  So I sat down one Sunday morning and began to write.  But my goal was not to write  one of those knock-offs of 50 Shades.  No abusive boyfriend for my heroine, Julia, although he tells her right up front what he has in mind.

I tried to be true to the period and place when I wrote it.  The time is 1969 and the place is San Francisco.   I was living there then, but was a working divorced mother with two small children and had no time to hang out with rock stars.  But many other aspects of the book are absolutely true:  the difficulty in finding work, the attitudes toward hippies and the anti-war movement, the influence of rock music, among other things.  The little house Julia and Ali rent actually existed.  A friend of mine lived in it and it was a weirdly funny cottage.  The politics and upheaval that go on at the start-up weekly newspaper are variations on a true event that happened in 1974–but could have happened in 1969.

By the time I finished the novel, I had to tip my hat to Erica James who wrote 50 Shades of Grey.  Writing explicit sex is very difficult–at least it was for me.  And how she wrote so enthusiastically about sex, sex and more sex for over 1000 pages I’ll never know!

Playing for Julia‘ inspired me in another way.  I had always wanted to write a vampire novel.

And  since then I have done that.  In fact, I’ve written one novella, New Vampire in Town, and one novel, New Vampire Online.

new vampire in town cover

New Vampire in Town, a novel of contemporary vampires. Sometimes funny! Not much blood and gore.

And I love the characters in the vampire books.  Because they are vampires they can do outrageous and strangely funny things, even though they live in today’s Las Vegas and Los Angeles.   Check them out on Kindle; maybe you will like them, too.

Oh, New Vampire in Town is also on Nook and iTunes.

AND…to see photos of the world of Cate, Conrad and Jack the surfer vampire go to their Pinterest page.

#Smashwords V. Draft 2 Digital – read the evaluation

Author David Gaughran wrote a very insightful post today about Smashwords and Draft2Digital for distribution beyond Amazon.   I have used both distributors and agree strongly with his observations.  Only my first effort at self-publishing, Write Your Memoir in One Day, remains on Smashwords.   (There are more sales of this book on Amazon in a month than through Smashwords distribution in a year which speaks to the power of Amazon, of course.)

Here is the link to David’s post.   Read and believe.



Get “San Francisco Summer ’69” for FREE! Read it soon. Write a review.

San Francisco summer 69 cover

Download the novel FREE on Kindle on May 2 and 3 only.

Ooops!  This was published a day early.  The free days are Thursday and Friday, May 2,3, 2013.

Okay.  You know the deal.  My steamy novel — part sexy romance, part chick-lit–is FREE on Kindle on May 2nd and 3rd.  Here is the link:

And if you want to see photos from that era–rock bands, women’s fashions, bars and bookstores in San Francisco–go to the website:

While the story is NOT autobiographical, I did live in S.F. during that era and saw it all happen around me.  It was a wild time.  All the staid old conventions of the past were being tossed out right and left.

I confess: My characters are lusting for each other, but I stopped them.

San Francisco summer '69

FREE on May 2 and 3 on Kindle!

Sex, sex and more sex!  Yup, that’s what went into my first novel, San Francisco Summer ’69.  But then the question arose:  is it sexy or is it porn.  I read a good differentiation yesterday by the ever-hilarious Delilah Dawson, author of Wicked as She Wants.  If after a sexual encounter, the characters experience a change in thought or behavior  (e.g. like him/her more, like sex more or less, think more about the meaning of life, etc.) then the sex is simply one part of a story.  If, in a book,  after a sexual experience there is simply more sex with the goal of arousing the reader, then it is porn.  Using this standard the 50 Shades books are NOT in the porn category.  (There have been several discussions in our family about this.)

But I have become tired of all this porn v. sex chatter.

So I decided to write a vampire novella I’ve been thinking about for a while–with no explicit sex.  Actually it is a humourous contemporary vampire story and while the two main characters, Cate and Conrad, lust after each other, two kisses were all I allowed them.  (One of the kisses is tinged with blood!)  In this book, at least, the readers aren’t going to get details of vampire sex.  But maybe in the next one.  Ah…the power of an author.

BTW, the vampire novella has not been published yet, but should be on Amazon Kindle within a couple of weeks. It’s title is New Vampire in Town.  It’s set in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, two cities I know well.

Meanwhile, the sexy San Francisco Summer ’69 novel will be FREE on May 2,3.  That’s this Thursday and Friday.  Get your free copy.  Read it.  Write a review.  Here’s the link:

Wow! My new novel made a Kindle Top 100 and it is still free!

San Francisco summer 69 cover

The cover of my sexy novel.

I am amazed.  My novel, San Francisco Summer ’69 was in the Top 100 on Kindle for Women’s Fiction and Contemporary Fiction.  Thank all of you out there who downloaded it on Kindle yesterday!  I kept getting updates all day  from my daughter-in-law (who has watched her albums climb up the Billboard Charts) letting me know that this sexy novel was still climbing.

The book is still available for FREE today, April 4th and tomorrow, April 5th.

I hope you enjoy reading it!  Here is the link:

Meanwhile I’m working on my humorous vampire novel.  More about it in the future.