A word or two about the need to go digital and the process of getting there from Robert Fate, author of the Baby Shark series.

It was sad news when Capital Crime Press, my honest, hard working publisher, decided to throw in the towel, but more than that, it was scary. How about the agreements with the distributors? Where were readers, bookstores, and libraries going to find my books? And what made it the scariest was how fast change was happening all around me. But how could I be surprised, though, with major bookstores going belly up and taking their WiFi and coffee bars with them? Larger publishers than mine were calling it quits; eStuff was replacing dead tree stuff so fast it just felt rude. Okay, maybe books must go, but why not with a little more dignity? Nope, no time for that––the future had arrived.

The truth is, I wanted to go all Pollyanna and believe that things would take care of themselves . . . after all, folks weren’t going to stop reading books––were they? So I let a little time slip by before reading some altruistic Joe Konrath rants and seeing the light. Joe has a way of throwing that switch. No more dragging my feet, I had to go digital.

For me, going digital, meant penning 2nd editions of the first four Baby Sharks and releasing them on Kindle. This was the beginning of the “process” part of leaving one world and entering the next.

Okay––making the books available for Kindle readers was step one. But how about all those folks who like holding a “real” book in their hands? After all the badmouth that has been given Print On Demand (POD) by the traditional publishing guys (to serve their own purposes, I fear), I was happily surprised to learn that POD books look EXACTLY the same as the books my publisher had printed. Hooray! That meant all readers would be served.

So, new covers for the PODs would need to be arranged, as well as some other details, since I was now the publisher, but it was all within reach. I think it is fair to say that Amazon (Kindle) makes it easy to self-publish, but that’s relative. If you want to self-publish be prepared to exert some effort. It ain’t rocket science, but there are many niggling details that must be addressed. Patience and perseverance are required.

The final stage of the “process” is the marketing, of course––the Sisyphean task of making folks aware of your books. Amazon offers help, but as in all things, you must help yourself, as well. I am now in that final stage. Here comes the marketing.

Free books.

Baby Shark will be offered free for five days –– May 18 thru May 22, 2012 on Kindle at Amazon.com. The purpose of free books is to introduce the series to those who haven’t yet read it, and to re-kindle (you should excuse the pun) an interest in the series with those readers who’ve been there, done that. The other books in the series will also be offered free in the near future––go to http://www.robertfate.com/ for that information.

If the free dates slip by you, borrow the titles from the Kindle library, that’s free, too. Ain’t it great? However, some restrictions may apply, as they say.

Be sure to check out the Book Club section when you visit http://www.robertfate.com/ to read all the fabulous reviews.

More marketing––watch for the summer 2012 publications of Baby Shark’s Showdown at Chigger Flats, book five in the Baby Shark series. And, Kill the Gigolo, a contemporary standalone with a male protagonist and a femme fatale that is a real piece of work.

Best wishes and happy reading,

“Digital” Bob

Robert Fate is a Marine Corps veteran who studied at the Sorbonne in France, rough necked in the oilfields of Oklahoma, fashion modeled in NYC, sold show scenery in Las Vegas, and has been a chef in Los Angeles. As a Hollywood special effects technician, he won an Academy Award for Technical Achievement. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, a ceramic artist, and his daughter, a cum laude graduate of USC. A regular guy, he has a dog, two cats, and a turtle named Pharrell.

P.S. I've been a fan of Bob's and his Baby Shark series for a long time. These are fun books--mysteries yes, but with a most original touch.


Kathleen Kaska said…
It's an ever-changing world out there in publishing. Just when I think I've got a handle on it something new pops up. Enjoyed the blog and best of luck with the continuation of your Baby Shark series.
Sue McGinty said…
I'll have to check out the Baby Shark series, a recommendation from Marilyn is good enough for me. I'll be interested to see what comes next, selling books after the free trial period.
Earl Staggs said…
Hey, Bob! I'm glad Baby Shark will still be out there kicking butt and taking names...or not taking them. She's the most unique and interesting character I've read in many years. Best wishes for a great future to both you and her.
So glad you visited today, and even happier to know that Baby Shark has a new life.
Jeff Sherratt said…
Hi Bobby...Sorry to hear about your publisher taking a nosedive, but it is probably the best thing that could have happened to you. Your books will do very well on Amazon's KDP.

I went on my own with my three Jimmy O' Brien novels ten months ago and the sales have been fantastic. It started slowly and then began to build to the point to where now my monthly sales are in the mid five figures. I never had that kind of success with my publishers.

It will happen to you too. Just go along with Amazon's marketing programs and you'll be amazed at the number of new readers you'll gain and at how profitable ebooks can be.

Best of luck! And thanks for the free ebook. I just downloaded it to my Kindle. I already have all of your books in the print version, but, hey, free is free.

Jeff Sherratt

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