Monday, July 05, 2010

KILLING TRAIL: OFFICIAL LAUNCH PARTY


WELL, IT'S DONE! Killing Trail is published via Amazon’s ebook program, and via Razored Zen Press. (I’ve always wanted to say that.)

SOMETIMES when books are published, presses throw a launch party. Well, Razored Zen is throwing a launch party right here! I’m in tight with the Press’s editor, you know. I told him I wanted a launch party or I’d never publish with them again. He caved right away, me being by far the most famous author the Press has signed so far. He still didn’t give me much throwing around money. (Cheap Son of a Gun.) That’s small presses for you.

BUT LET ME tell you a little about the book and how it got set up. First, the cover design (seen at top) is a collaboration between Lana and I, though mostly Lana. The picture is of my Uberti .357 single action revolver. The background is a weather-worn bench at the nearby Flatwoods nature preserve. Lana took the pic a while back and I decided it would make the right cover for Killing Trail. I showed Lana a mockup, which I actually published on the blog when I first started talking about doing this book. Lana found the great western style font and did the frame and color scheme.

SECOND, the price. I’d originally planned to publish this for .99 cents but Amazon has changed their program and the cheapest I could go was $2.99. So there you have it. This is the first time I’ve self-published, but I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and I like how it turned out. I’ll post later about the “process” of publishing with Amazon, which turned out to be quite easy.

THIRD, the contents. This is not a novel length work. There’s about 24,000 words of material, including four fiction stories (three long ones) and a couple of short, non-fiction essays. Since Amazon has not yet put up the “about the book material,” here it is below:

RIDE INTO DANGER!

Killing Trail is a collection of western short stories by Charles Allen Gramlich, the author of the Talera Trilogy and Cold in the Light. It contains:


Killing Trail: When they dumped Angela Cody on Lane Holland’s ranch she was scant moments from death. She managed to speak only a few words, but those were enough to make Lane strap on his guns and ride out on a killing trail.

Showdown at Wild Briar: Accused of a murder he didn’t commit, Josh Allen Boone has ridden a long way from his Wild Briar Ranch. But now he’s coming home, and the real killers are waiting for him with a rope. (Never before published.)

Powder Burn: They said Davy Bonner’s luck had run out and they ambushed him along a dark road. But luck or no, Davy wasn’t going down without a fight. (Written specifically for this collection.)

Once Upon a Time with the Dead: For the gray raiders, death was an old friend.

The work also includes two nonfiction essays, one about Louis L’Amour and another about the real Wild West.


FOURTH, the GIVEAWAYS. Those who comment on this Launch Party Blog will have their names entered in a random drawing. The first name drawn will get their choice of two prizes. 1: A signed copy of any one of my books. 2: A framed image of the Killing Trail cover signed by both me and Lana. The second name drawn will get the prize that the first person doesn’t choose.

I’m pretty happy about being a self-published author on this day. I worked very hard on the stories in this collection and I’m proud of them. I hope some of you will enjoy them too. Thanks for visiting, and I’ll be dropping in frequently throughout the day to respond to comments and to answer any questions.

FOR THOSE WHO DON'T OWN A KINDLE: If you don't have a Kindle, by the way, there is free app for the PC at Amazon. I've copied the link below. I downloaded it to my PC and it works just like the Kindle itself. You have to have an account at Amazon, which you probably already have if you've ever bought books from them. I'm glad I downloaded it myself.

Free Kindle App for PC Here


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82 comments:

David Cranmer said...

I will download it later today. As you know, this is my kind of poison. And tell Lana, that's a sharp looking cover.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Woot! Congrats, Charles, break a leg with this one.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Charles, though I don't have a Kindle (or any other ebook reading device), I just downloaded amazon's Kindle for PC and bought "Killing Trail."

Alright!

Heather said...

Congratulations Charles!!! This is very exciting!

I'm off to share this on facebook, tweet etc :)

Best of luck with it all.

Ron Scheer said...

Charles, you've pushed me one big step closer to getting a darned Kindle. As Hunter Thompson used to say, where will it all end???

All seriousness aside, I'm looking forward to your regular reports on epublishing with amazon.

Congratulations!

Charles Gramlich said...

Ron, they just dropped the price on the Kindles quite a bit. Apparently you can get kindle apps for reading on an IPAD or an Iphone as well.

James Reasoner said...

I've got a Kindle on order, and this will be one of my first purchases when it gets here. That's a fine cover.

Merisi said...

Congratulations, Charles and Lana!

Is it possible to read an ebook on my PC?

David Cranmer said...

I got it. This afternoon I will dig in and sample the first story.

writtenwyrdd said...

Very cool, Charles. I'll post a link to it on my blog. Don't enter me in the contest, though, I have over 500 books waiting to be read and I'm not allowing myself any new ones for the time being!

Charles Gramlich said...

James Reasoner, thanks James. I saw they dropped the Kindle prices so it's a good time to get one.

Merisi, thanks. Yes, you can read kindle ebooks on the pc but you have to download a Kindle "app." I'll try to find out more about that for you. These aps are available for ipad and iphones too.

David Cranmer, thanks, man. Much appreciated.

writtenwyrdd, I'd appreciate the link. Thanks. I've said that before, about not allowing myself more books. It never lasts long. :)

laughingwolf said...

grats charles and lana, looks and sounds like my kinda read!

will put your post on my page, asap

Charles Gramlich said...

Laughingwolf, I appreciate that, man.

laughingwolf said...

welcome, bud... on my fb page as well

X. Dell said...

I'd like to know how this turns out, compared to your previous works published by others. I can see why the money might be better. But all of the other aspects of publishing (e.g. publicity) seem like too daunting a task for someone like me.

Crossing my fingers. Good luck.

Shauna Roberts said...

How cool! Your own press!

I love the cover. You two collaborated well together.

Now I'm heading over to Amazon.com to download the new book onto my Kindle. Congratulations!

David J. West said...

Congratulations, I am going to get this soon as I'm able. Looking forward to the essay's too.

Charles Gramlich said...

laughingwolf, thanks much.

X. Dell, I'm going to keep good records on this thing so I'll be posting about that over time.

Shauna Roberts, I know. Razored Zen Press has a ring to it! Yes, Lana and I work well together.

David J. West, one essay is a pretty substantial expansion of the piece I did for the Your own West series.

G said...

Congrats on the new e-book. Hope it turns out to be a winner.

And by all means, let us know about the self-pub arm of Amazon. For me, I'm very curious about your experiences.

Shauna Roberts said...

Like G, I'm interested in hearing about self-publishing on Amazon.com.

BernardL said...

I admit to not knowing they had a Kindle for PC free download. I have it now and 'Killing Trail'. Thanks for the link. I sure hope 'Razored Zen' takes off.

Terri Coop said...

Congrats! I followed you here via your profile via your comment on Janet Reid's blog about the razzamatazz contest.

Whew! I'm tired. Is there anything to drink here?

Congrats on the book and I look forward to hearing about the Amazon process. I am just finishing up a little print project with Amazon's POD Createspace and will be having a little launch-eroo of my own soon.

I love westerns, so will be checking ya out.

Meanwhile, before I try and find my way out, is there a restroom here?

(Seriously, way to go!)

Terri
www.whyifearclowns.com

Charles Gramlich said...

G, I'm gonna keep good records so I know how it all works.

Shauna Roberts, reports will be forthcoming.

BernardL, I only found out a couple of weeks ago myself. And thanks.

Terri Coop, since it's western day, there's rye whiskey around here somewhere, and as for the bathroom. Second cactus on the right.

Helen McGinn said...

Just found you via a guest blog you did at a bloggy friend of mine; lovely stuff. Love the cover of your new book, congratulations! x

Richard Prosch said...

My Kindle is in fierce competition with the book case as to which has the biggest percentage of books I'm itching to read. Not bad since I've had the Kindle only six months and the shelves for more than four decades!

Paul R. McNamee said...

Congratulations!

It's on my Kindle wishlist, I will grab it sometime this week.

Randy Johnson said...

Well, I just finished the first story, The Killing Trail. Liked that one. I'll get to the rest in a bit.

Randy Johnson said...

Oh, congrats by the way.

Deka Black said...

Congratulations! self-publishing is always a bold decisiion. Gives you some hardships but also liberty. The cover is simple a eye-catching.

And.. i enter the contest in hope to be able to read something good ;)

Anyway, good luck with the reviews and the sales1

Charles Gramlich said...

Helen McGinn, must be Ocean girl perhaps? I enjoyed doing "Reflections." Thanks for dropping by.

Richard Prosch, for the first time in my life I'm actually reading 2 kindle books and one printed book at the moment. i've gotten a lot of good stuff for the Kindle too.

Paul R. McNamee, I appreciate that, of course. Hope you will enjoy the stories.

Randy Johnson, when you get to "Powder Burn" I think you'll find some names that seem familiar to you. Ancestors of certain folks we all know, no doubt.

Deka Black, thank you. I'm glad you're in the drawing. I'll give it a day or two before I do the drawing.

Tom said...

I'll be getting this today. In fact...

<>

pattinase (abbott) said...

That is like the coolest gun I've ever seen. And the coolest cover. Congratulations on all of it.

Harry Markov said...

Happy launch party and way to go with the connections you have got. Those pesky editors should always crumble. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Tom, You are appreciated, man!

pattinase, I love my pistol. It shoots very well and I love the brass backstrap and trigger guard.

Harry Markov, Yeah, it's nice to order an editor around for a change. ;)

Lana Gramlich said...

Hooray, baby! Congrats & much fortune to you, as always. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Lana, you sweet.

BStearns said...

Congrats Charles! I'm sure you're book is gonna be great! Too bad that publisher wouldn't give you more money for a launch party! ;) Keep up the awesome work!

-Bryan
www.sff-hub.com

Charles Gramlich said...

Bryan, well he did give me a six pack of beer but I decided not to share that. :)

BStearns said...

What! A free six pack! You lucky dog you! Wise move keeping that to yourself, don't want a revolt on your hands, could get messy.

-Bryan
www.sff-hub.com

Charles Gramlich said...

Bryan, yes, the other writers in the Razored Zen stable didn't get anything at all. But I'm obviously the editor's favorite.

Steve Malley said...

Fantastic. Simply fantastic!! :-)

I'll check tonight to see if Amazon'll let me download their PC app here-- they flat-out refuse to ship me the device!

Kate S said...

Cool - It sounds really good. Here's hoping you make many, many sales. :)

Sarah Hina said...

Wonderful, Charles (and Lana). This sounds like a great compilation. And there's something about putting a book together completely by yourself that makes it feel even more like your own baby. Or that's what my husband says, anyway.

I'm happy for you!!

Charles Gramlich said...

Steve Malley, I heard that they wouldn't. I can't understand that. Totally bizarre.

Kate S, thank you.

Sarah Hina, yes, it's interesting how I feel so strongly about this one considering it's self pubbed.

Randy Johnson said...

Yep, those guys i Powder Burn did seem familiar.

Laurie Powers said...

I'm going to download this app too - thanks for the tip! Good luck with this and thanks for the info about Kindle - I'm thinking of doing this as well for my grandfather's stuff.

jodi said...

Congrats Charles and Lana, too! The cover pic is soooo coool. I am planning to get a Kindle soon and I WILL download your book!

Randy Johnson said...

Those guys did seem familiar. Know them from somewhere.

Evan Lewis said...

This is a great idea, Charles, and I look forward to these tales!

Natasha Fondren said...

I'm loving it! Yay, Charles! I ordered my copy today. :-)

Barbara Martin said...

This sounds very exciting, Charles. Congratulations on your launch. I'll be downloading it later. Thanks for the link.

ivan said...

Ah, out of, maybe, Rose's Cantina and "I can't let them catch me..."

The stuff of legend and song.

You and Marty Robbins, and (hopefuly?) Harold Robbins, who knew how the book she was wrote.

the walking man said...

Good news for you Charles I will think about the app. I've had negative experiences with amazon but then maybe because an author of your magnitude is involved they will have their shit together. I may give them yet another try.

I am really interested in how this deal with them works. I have spent the past three months living away from blogsburg so I could edit and as soon as I hear back from my "test readers" I may want to go this route rather than the one I went on for the other books.

I hope this works out well for you.
You know the deal...Lana has to send me the pic in a format I can trf to my sidebar before I can put up a blurb for you.

AvDeeBee said...

Excellent, Charles! I can't wait to read it.

ivan said...

Oh, out of the Westg Texas Town of El Paso, the stuff of legend and song!

I will download.

Greg Schwartz said...

Hey, congrats Charles! That's awesome! One of many I'm sure for Razored Zen Press.

Charles Gramlich said...

Randy Johnson, I had fun writing the banter between them.

Laurie Powers, I’ll be posting on exactly how I did it in the next week.

jodi, I like my Kindle quite a lot and it’s easy also to kindilize other kinds of files.

Evan Lewis, thanks. I appreciate that.

Natasha Fondren, thank you. I hope you enjoy.

Barbara Martin, I appreciate that.

ivan, it would be nice to sell as many copies as Harold Robbins. I sort of like that “West Texas town,” though not as much as “the Man who shot Liberty Valence.”

Mark, I’m going to post in detail on how the program works as I start getting data in on it. I’ll let you know.

AvDeeBee, thanks. Next maybe is yours eh? I’ll be posting on the details of what I did as time goes on. Thanks much for the mention on your own blog.

Greg Schwartz, Razored Zen press is the new Scribners. Lol.

Travis Cody said...

Congratulations Charles! I'm looking forward to downloading.

Charles Gramlich said...

Travis Cody, thank you man.

Akasha Savage. said...

Congrats! Love the cover. Hope you sell lots and lots!! :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Akasha, thanks. I hope so too.

Robert said...

Downloaded. Congrats!

(P.S. You COULD go 99 cents, but that would only give you 30% royalty which is basically nothing. Definitely a good idea to stick with the $2.99 price point and earn that 70%!)

Charles Gramlich said...

Robert. I wondered about that but when I did the walk throughs on the guidelines it never mentioned that alternative. It did have a lower royalty rate for some things. I did see that. That part was certainly confusing.

Merisi said...

Thank you, Charles, that would be so great!
I don't have neither iphone nor ipad, but I have itunes on my Mac (I guess that last one will do only for music, but one never knows).

I am a complete savage as far as these e-things is concerned.

Merisi said...

... are concerned. Sorry!

Michelle's Spell said...

Chrles,

This is very very cool! I LOVE the cover! Hope all is well with you and Lana.

Petula said...

Congratulations!

Heff said...

"Razored Zen Press".

Has a nice ring to it !

Rick said...

Hey, Charles, I'm running behind a few days, but congratulations! I'm behind you on this and will both order and review it for you shortly (when I can find my brain).

And you're so lucky to have a creative artist like Lana working on this for you!

Cloudia said...

CONGRATS

To you BOTH!





Aloha from Waikiki :)

Comfort Spiral

Julia Smith said...

'Once Upon a Time with the Dead: For the gray raiders, death was an old friend.' - That is a GREAT tag line.

Happy Release Day, Charles!

Stewart Sternberg said...

After reading COLD IN THE LIGHT, I think the western is probably a good genre for you to sink your teeth into.

Charles Gramlich said...

Merisi, it is. The link to get a free app that lets you read kindle books on your pc is : http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000426311&tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=5634324417&ref=pd_sl_92i9zans8g_b

After I looked it up I added the link to the post itself. It’s at the bottom now.

Michelle, Yeah, I’m kind of happy with the cover. It looks good for being done the way we did it.

Petula, thanks. And thanks for visiting.

Heff, my next plan is for a Razored Zen Beer. You know, that isn’t a bad idea.

Rick, yes, Lana makes it all worthwhile. I’m running behind myself.

Cloudia, thanks much.

Julia Smith, thanks. I had a lot of fun with that story. It’s kind of a riff off some of the Desperado movies with Antonio Banderes.

Stewart Sternberg, there is one ‘horror western’ in the collection, although the primary stories are mainstream western.

RRN said...

i love the cover Charles !!! Dang.

The Uberti .357 is just AWESOME !
Fantastc !

This is just so exciting and you must be very proud.
The book just really sounds tremendous and I greatly look forward to checking it out.

Outstanding.

Charles Gramlich said...

RRN, yes, I bought that gun in part just because it was so beautiful. Even the picture doesn't do it justice. The coloring is gorgeous. Thanks.

Ocean Girl said...

Congratulations Charles.

Charles Gramlich said...

Ocean girl, thanks. I appreciate it.

Derek M. Koch said...

Congrats on the book! I've been feeling a pull toward Westerns the past few years, and I'm looking forward to checking out this collection.

Also, as someone who's looking at self-publishing later this year, I'm really impressed with the layout and the cover! Nice work!

- D

Erik Donald France said...

AWESOME! Congrats!

Charles Gramlich said...

Derek, thanks. I spent quite a bit of time on those elements, and Lana did a great job with the cover.

Erik, thanks, man.

eric1313 said...

Congratulations!

But it seems i missed the party... Oh well, it's still cool to read about.

Charles Gramlich said...

eric1313, thanks. better late than never!