My Books

“I actually could not put the book down. It is well written and kept my interest. I want more from this author.”
Reader review of Maximilian and Carlotta Are Dead on 

Afranor Books

All books available in paperback from Afranor Books on
See below on the right-hand side of this page for links to other sellers.
Afranor Books

Monday, April 24, 2023

Indy Selling Success Story

Things to have come full circle in the book business—well, at least in my book business. When I published my first novel nearly nine years, I didn’t bother with a paperback version. I had bought into the hype and buzz that told us that print books were dead or dying and that the future was digital.

Then, after hearing from a surprising number of potential readers that they wouldn’t be reading Maximilian and Carlotta Are Dead until they could do so on paper, I corrected my course. Three months later the paperback version (with a new more printer-friendly cover) was released. Ever since, the digital and paper versions of my novels have been released simultaneously.

Despite the stubborn (determined?) paper readership out there, however, most of my sales were digital, specifically via Amazon Kindle. In the past year or two, though, that has changed. Maybe it had something to do with Covid or perhaps with the type of people who read fantasy books like The Curse of Septimus Bridge and Last of the Tuath Dé, but print books have been making up a larger share of purchases. As far as I can tell, print is definitely not dead.

In January I informed readers of this blog that I now have my own sales portal at for paperbacks. The beauty of that site is that it offers the same stay-at-home-and-have-it-delivered convenience of any other online seller, but it also offers readers the possibility of supporting authors they like or any of the hundreds and hundreds of independent brick-and-mortar book stores that have also signed up with them.

I have lately learned more about the history of and philosophy behind thanks to a great article by Kate Knibbs posted on Wired magazine’s website a couple of weeks ago. As chronicled in that piece, it was the brainstorm of Andy Hunter, who ran a midsize literary publisher called Catapult. The profile describes his sometimes difficult childhood and how the local library became a place of solace for him.

Hunter became obsessed by a random comment he heard over dinner from a board member of the American Booksellers Association: what if ecommerce was a boon for independent bookstores, instead of being their existential threat? That led him to propose converting the association’s IndieBound program, which promoted independent booksellers, into an alternative online bookseller.

The association wasn’t interested in that approach but offered Hunter support if he wanted to start his own online bookshop. The beauty of his concept was that neighborhood bookshops and authors can get money for selling books online with a minimum investment of time and effort, as takes care of inventory and shipping by partnering with wholesaler Ingram. I suppose another way to look at it is that is an online seller like any other except that it generously shares its profits with local bookstores and authors.

Hunter’s timing turned out to be fortuitous because of the pandemic, as loyal local bookshop customers couldn’t get to their favorite sellers in person. Even without an advertising budget, its growth has been spectacular. Knibbs’s article recounts small bookshop owners’ stories of the cash windfalls that bailed them out of disasters thanks to having opted into Bookshop’s earnings pool fueled by 10 percent of the operation’s sales.

It’s an inspiring story, and a great lesson of what can be accomplished in the capitalist system when people approach business with good intentions.

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You may have been wondering what I’ve been up to in the eight months since Last of the Tuath Dé was released. I can tell you that I have been writing but not much more than that. I’ve been working on something that is a departure for me, in that it’s speculative, it’s non-fiction, and it’s got a personal angle.

If anything comes of it, and I’m hopeful it will, you will be the first to learn about it here.

And yes, I plan eventually to continue the saga chronicled in The Curse of Septimus Bridge and Last of the Tuath Dé.