Daily Archives: March 30, 2012

JA Konrath’s “A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing”

Like I said in a previous post on Jeff Bennington’s Indie Author’s Guide to the Universe https://stevevernonstoryteller.wordpress.com/2012/03/25/the-indie-authors-guide-to-the-universe-a-book-review/ – I am in the midst of attempting to learn everything that I need to know about e-books and/or making a decent income from them.

Which is a little like saying that I have decided to swallow the Atlantic Ocean, one shotglass at a time.

After I finished reading Bennington’s very helpful e-book I decided to tackle something from someone who has become almost iconic in the field of e-publishing – namely, JA Konrath.

Now a lot has been written about JA Konrath’s freaking-mega-huge success in e-publishing.

A lot of it by himself.

This is one of the key’s to Konrath’s success. He is a media wizard. The man knows how to get the word out there. He has set himself up as a bit of an e-book how-to guru – which means that anyone trying to break into the e-book business is going to want to listen to him and learn from him and (most likely) read his stuff.

Like me.

Which is partly why he has sold over 400,000 e-books.

For some of the viewpoint check out this.


Some people figure Konrath has met with this sort of success because he started with a traditionally-published based audience – (did that make sense? I hope it did) – meaning that he already had a market base established from his Jack Daniels series.

That does count for some of his success. I don’t believe he’d deny it if he was asked.

So there – I’ve figured out JA Konrath’s success in e-publishing. His secret is his ability to get the word out, to stir up the e-reading public and the fact that he likely had a few thousand fans to begin with.

Except that doesn’t explain all of it.

I believe a significant part of his success stems from two other sources.

Number one – he’s prolific. The man writes a book about as often as some people fart. The writing business is a bit of a numbers game. You have ten e-books out there, selling a hundred copies a month – (and I’m just pulling these numbers out of my hat, you understand) – then you are a writer selling 1000 copies a month.

That’s not me, you understand. If I’m to hit 1000 copies – the 20 people out there who actually read this blog will have to begin buying my books at about 50 copies each. Maybe if I start offering a bulk discount…


Number two – and this, in my opinion, is the big one. JA Konrath is goddamn good. I started reading him from his first release, WHISKEY SOUR.

From day one, his words rocked me. I even made it a point to write a review of one his books for Cemetery Dance – even though it wasn’t necessarily a horror-based novel. His words just flow and he entertains and his dry sense of humor always makes me feel good. He’s got that same comfortable style of writers like Joe Lansdale, Robert Parker or Janet Evanovich. The man’s work reads like a good bottle of cold beer. You know what it tastes like, you know what it’s going to feel like going down your throat and you know that it will fill that craving that you have for good cold beer.

I can’t really write a proper review of  Konrath’s first book on e-publishing, THE NEWBIE’S GUIDE TO PUBLISHING. The book itself is over 1100 pages long and is simply the accumulation of everything about writing that he has ever blogged upon since 2005 to 2010. Some of the early entries are quite out-dated – as it begins while he is still firmly imbedded into the field of traditional publishing. Which, in my opinion, makes this book all the more valuable because it actually SHOWS how a traditionally published writer makes the transition – or, at least how Konrath has done it.

I’m only about seven percent of the way into the book. I’ll probably be picking at this one for months to come. Maybe it is a stupid way to go about doing things – but, because I am attempting to ride the twin horses of traditional and digital publishing – I find the advice offered in this e-book to be timeless and invaluable. There were about a half a dozen entries into that early part that I wanted to link to – tell you – HEY READ THIS, HEY READ THAT – but hell, why waste all that valuable bandwidth when I can put it to you simply.

You want to learn this business?

Pay attention to what this fellow is telling you.

That great big honking e-book of writing advice will cost you a mere $2.99 at Amazon – or you can just download the PDF for free at Konrath’s website – http://www.jakonrath.com/writers.htm

Either way you’re going to learn an awful lot from reading this book.

I believe that’s as close to a review as I’m going to get.

(note – two of the commenters mentioned the Scott Nicholson e-book on e-publishing WRITE GOOD OR DIE. I know Scott and he’s a good dude and has been in the business longer than Konrath – so his words bear listening to. AND, today the e-book if free. Here’s a link. Go and grab it. http://www.amazon.com/Write-Good-or-Die-ebook/dp/B003H4QZOG/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1333120110&sr=1-1)

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon