The Return of Jewball OR: How a big time author reinvented himself digitally

OR: What you lose (and win!) by being digitally successful vs successful in physical bookstore terms (if those still exist).

I think you'll be interested in this podcast from Litquake's LitCast. It's Neal Pollack speaking as the keynote at Litquake's digi.lit conference in SF this June. [Click here to download now or listen away!] This talk seems particularly relevant to me because Neal's gone down a road very similar to my own. That is, except he's packed stores, gotten six-figure deals in the past and otherwise been very "successful" in traditional NY Publishing terms. He was evan a McSweeney's child! And now he's with Amazon's Thomas & Mercer Imprint, just like me. He explains why, what he's lost by being here and what he's gained. It's very interesting and enlightening listening for any author in today's media space. So check it out. Thank me later.

I first became aware of Neal when he wrote this essay in the NY Times Book Review about why he would self-publish Jewball. He even talked about doing a Kickstarter campaign just about the same time as when I did mine. I posted about all this back here on the AuthorBootCamp site. Now this fills in the rest of the story: how even with the platform of the NYTBR (!) the self-published book didn't sell and he turned to Thomas & Mercer. Definitely a turn I didn't see coming! He didn't even wind up doing the Kickstarter campaign. Why not? Who knows.

Anyway, here's the whole deal. You'll hear a lot that parallels the path I've gone down, the one you've followed me along, and also a lot of the reasons I'm happiest now with Thomas & Mercer. How I plan to keep on keeping on. Actually, on that note, In Broad Daylight is part of Amazon UK's Kindle 100 books for August. If you're over there, drop a review and pick up a copy. It's only ONE QUID! Who looks out for you. That's right. 

The digi.lit conference was great too, by the way. Stay tuned for a future LitCast that features my panel on what writers need to know to self-publish in the new digital space. 

Greater Than Gatsby and Thank You!

In Broad Daylight rocks the charts!

And my author rank leaps into the top 20!

Last week, June 19th specifically, IN BROAD DAYLIGHT was Amazon's Kindle Daily Deal. That means that they marked the price down to $1.99 promoted the living *Daylights* out of it (yes, I did), and it sold a crap ton of  copies!

How many copies? Well, more than Jack Wakes Up has sold EVER!! In one day. How about those Daylights! (again.)

At its apex, IBD peaked in Kindle bestsellers at #5! Those of you who've been with me since the first Palms Sunday will recall that my previous high was #45 overall! So I say, "Woot!" to that. A woot and a holla!

It also hit #1 in Crime, Mystery and Women Sleuths! That's right! NUMBER ONE! 

And me? As you can see below, I made it above our man J.R.R. when I was #76 in Authors on the site. But guess what: it didn't stop there!

You can see that I hit #22 and topped even The Great Fitzgerald. Did it stop there?

NO! I climbed as high as #16 in all authors on Amazon. Can you believe that!?!? That's some elite company.

It was a very exciting ride, as you can imagine. And I want to thank you all for your support. You helped me get here and we did it together. Lots of hard work and elbow grease, but it is and has been worth it! 

Rest assured that I'll keep rocking it, bringing you more awesome content and further FREE podcasts. If you have the gumption, please share the link to In Broad Daylight with your friends on the social medias and tell them about the book. I'm hoping we can keep the chart ride going and make this THE beach reading mystery of the summer!

Kindle Daily Deal: In Broad Daylight!

Wow! Feels like I've been all over the internet today posting this news everywhere BUT here on the blog. Duh! But act now and it's not too late to snap up In Broad Daylight as part of today's Kindle Daily Deal and get it for $1.99. 

Yes, I've been posting here on Twitter and on Facebook and even Google+! So get on board with me on those if you haven't already. Otherwise, here's a recap of today's excitment (so far)! Updates to come.

  • IBD starts out at around 5,000 in books and then rockets to #162 by late morning. 
  • People start seeing IBD advertised on their Kindle screens! (See right.)
  • Finally IBD busts into the Kindle 100 bestsellers in Books! Woot/Holla!
  • Then... Larry Bird's number--it's at #33!
  • Then it goes right into the top ten!
  • It also hits #1 in Crime and #2 in Women Sleuths.
  • By nightfall and this writing, the peak has been #8 in books. Stay tuned for more and go grab up your copy at $1.99 if you get this fast! 


==> Thursday AM update: IBD is now the #5 Kindle Book

AND I'm the #17 author on the site! More pics to come! <==

Link here to grab In Broad Daylight now! Tell your friends!   

*FIXED*--CrimeWAV for June: Johnny Shaw reads "Luck"!

Welcome to the **FIXED** June edition of CrimeWAV. I’m very happy to feature my friend, and label mate from Thomas & Mercer, Johnny Shaw on this month’s show.

Click here to download or listen to the right and edited version of “Luck” by Johnny Shaw.

Johnny Shaw was born and raised in the Desert Southwest on the Calexico/Mexicali border, the setting for his novels, DOVE SEASON and BIG MARIA. He is also the creator and editor of the online fiction quarterly BLOOD & TACOS, a loving homage to the men’s adventure paperbacks of the 1970?s & 1980?s.  And for you audio aficionados, check out the Blood & Tacos Podcast.

His short stories have appeared in Blood & Tacos, Plots With Guns, Thuglit, and in a number of anthologies. The story "Luck" first appeared in Thuglit #1, edited by Todd Robinson, another awesome writer and friend of the show. Be sure to check out Todd’s book, The Hard Bounce, when you’re looking for something awesome!

Johnny lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, Spinetingler Award-nominated artist Roxanne Patruznick.

You can find him online at or follow him on Twitter @BloodAndTacos

Johnny, Tyler Dilts, Eric Beetner, Gary Phillips, Paul Bishop and myself will be talking crime and hardboiled noir at the California Crime Writers Conference later this month in Pasadena. Come on out if you’re close by.

I’m also happy to present a promo on this week’s show for Mark Berry and his podcast Pushing Leaves Towards the Sun. Find it and listen now on

Thanks for listening. I’ll be back next month with a story from Court Merrigan


In Broad Daylight - Now in Print!

IN BROAD DAYLIGHT is out today! Listen here for my Short Audio Missive about the new release!

You can get it online from Amazon in Paperback and eBook, as well as signed copies at Borderlands Books (info here). I hope you'll pick up a copy!

There are THREE WAYS you can help me make this a big release:

1) Pick up a copy! Go ahead, for Kindle it's just five bucks!

2) Drop a sweet review of In Broad Daylight on Amazon or Goodreads. Do this only if you've already listened to the podcast or read a preview.

3) Help spread the word on social media! Spread links on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, etc. Rock and roll with me! Tell one person or fifty!

What else? Well, I'm holding a contest here all week (at least). Comment below to let me know which main character you'd like to see in the next book I write and/or tell me why YOU deserve a free, autographed copy of In Broad Daylight on your shelf. I'll be picking 3-5 winners soon!

Your spot for signed copies: Borderlands Books!

Hello Palms Family! As we have in the past, I'll be setting up a go-to spot again for you to order SIGNED COPIES of the latest release. This time, IN BROAD DAYLIGHT from Thomas & Mercer Press is available in signed, inscribed or lipstick-kissed paperback copies from Borderlands Books!

Here's how you can order, thanks to Borderlands' own Jude Feldman. 

Borderlands would be happy to set up your order for IN BROAD DAYLIGHT. The book is a trade paperback, and costs $14.95. Typically, an "autographed" book just has the author's signature, and an "inscribed" book is personalized in whatever fashion you wish and then signed by the author. (The price is the same for an unsigned, signed, or inscribed book, and Seth is happy to do inscriptions.) We will ship out copies just as soon as they've arrived and Seth has had a chance to sign them.

We just need to know the following from you: [READ ON]

Booklist on In Broad Daylight

This one leans pretty heavily toward plot summary, with a silent but violent kick at the end. See what you think of it:

Booklist Online Exclusive

In Broad Daylight - Seth Harwood - Thomas & Mercer, May 7th

FBI agent Jess Harding is called back to Anchorage when the savage serial killer she tracked five years ago resurfaces. The killer only strikes during Alaska’s light-filled summer nights, writing messages for all to see in the victims’ blood. The killer tips his hand this time, hiring a local thug to slash Harding’s palm in the same way that an isolated community of Russian Old Believers mark the wrongdoers in their clan. Harding gains the trust of one young woman who believes the killer may have been exiled from their village years ago. From a local sketch artist to the Interpol database, Harding races to identify a killer who has already set his sights on her. Harwood (Young Junius, 2010) has created a driven and believable protagonist. Unfortunately, the killer’s motivation is never adequately revealed, leaving the reader a little let down at the end of the pulse-pounding, climactic chase scene.

For some reason, they bolded the bold part themselves. So I guess that's the takeaway. I just tell everyone: "Harwood has created a driven and belivable protagonist." --Booklist   and then leave it at that, right?

Hope you're ready to give it a kick-butt review once it's live on Amazon here on 5/7. Rocka! Preorders open now and autograph copy ordering coming SOON!



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