Countdown deals, giveaway winners

reviews_tcotsmcoverIt’s almost time to start the Kindle Countdown!

Beginning Saturday, Sept. 17 at 6 a.m. EST, the Kindle version of my new mystery The Curse of the Strawberry Moon will be marked down drastically.

The Kindle version of the book has a list price of $4.99.
On Sept. 17, the price plummets to 99 cents and then gradually rises back to the list price at the end of the week.

Price increases go from 99 cents to $1.99, to $2.99, to $3.99, and then back to $4.99 on Sept. 24.

How long will it stay at the lowest price? It’s a risk waiting buyers must figure out. Remember, the clock will be ticking. The longer you wait, the less you save.

DID YOU KNOW: With the free downloadable Kindle app, you can read the book not only on Kindle but iPhone, Blackberry, Android as well as Windows and Mac tablets/desktops. The app is available at


Congrats to the GIVEAWAY WINNERS

Three people are the lucky winners of digital and paperback copies of The Curse of the Strawberry Moon. Congrats to Debra K. who won a Kindle copy through my Amazon giveaway, and Arlene D. and Angel L. who won signed paperbacks through the Goodreads giveaway. Stay tuned for more prizes!

Un-Select-ing my ebook

oniondomes_cover_300x456I released my first collection of short stories, In the Shadows of the Onion Domes, last fall. For the first time I enrolled one of my books in the Kindle Select program.

When you do this, the ebook version must be available exclusively at Amazon for three months. In return, Amazon offers you a choice of two promotions: the Free Promotion (in which the book is free for a limited time) or the Countdown Deal (in which the book is reduced and then the price is raised over a period of a few days before it returns to the list price). Kindle Select books also receive higher royalty sales in certain markets (India, Brazil, Japan and Mexico) and are eligible for Kindle Unlimited (in which a user pays a month fee to read all that the person wants to) and Kindle Owners Lending Library (in which copies can be shared).

This was my first foray into the short stories genre, so I decided to experiment with new marketing ideas and give it a try. After three months, I have just removed it from the program. Here’s why:

  1. I don’t believe in the concept of giving your book away unless it’s a copy provided to a prospective reviewer. Why not do that when it’s very successful for many authors? To me it’s the principle of the thing. I work very hard on these books and in my opinion making them free devalues that effort. Stubborn? Yes. Luddite? Not quite; it’s more a matter of pride in my art. Because of those strong feelings, I opted for the Countdown Deal. The ebook retails at $2.99 and I lowered it to 99 cents for three days and then raised it to $1.99. Did it work? Well, the book rose to No. 9 in the short story category at Amazon’s Kindle Store. (Yay!) I had very good sales (comparable to the bump from past good book reviews), but they weren’t what I would classify as outstanding.
  2. I did have a few Kindle Unlimited/Online Lending Library borrows, which will make me eligible for a piece of the pot o’cash Amazon disburses quarterly to members of the Kindle Select Club. I have no idea how much that will be. I don’t expect to put the down payment on a new car anytime soon.
  3. To date, I have never made a sale in Mexico, Brazil or Japan (I have sold books in India). So the lure of higher royalties in those countries isn’t that much of a draw.
  4. What I think drives sales for these deals is investing in advertising. Many authors get big rankings with pricey ads on well-known book promo sites. Wish I had the income for that but I don’t yet. I paid for some far less expensive Facebook ads. The targeting for those ads is impressive, but not sure how much the click-throughs actually contributed to sales. During the event I held a book blog tour across fellow indies’ blogs. I know that helped. The book sale was also broadcast all over social media.
  5. In my opinion, what truly matters in making these Select options a success (besides writing the best book you can) is your choice of genre. Mystery, fantasy and romance are almost a given to do very well. Short stories? Eh…not the same.
  6. I use Smashwords coupons for sending free copies of books to reviewers. Currently I do not have software for converting my MS to ePub format. Because of the Amazon exclusivity contract, that coupon option was not available to me. Surely that hurt the launch of this book. Perhaps if Kindle gave you that option, the Select program would be more attractive.

On Monday I uploaded In the Shadows of the Onion Domes to Smashwords where it is available immediately in all ebook formats. Within weeks it will be available directly at the Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo and Apple stores.

C’mon little book, it’s time for you to learn to fly

Meanwhile I writing the second draft of my new novel. Did I mention it’s a mystery?

Reviewing 2014

Mmm...Men like pie...

Check, please!

I just tallied up my book sales for 2014. Overall, sales dipped a bit, but there are some trends I’m very happy to see. Here’s how the year looked:

  • In just two and a half months the new book, In the Shadows of the Onion Domes, has surpassed the first year sales for four of my seven books. This is my first foray into short stories, so it will be interesting to see if the book sustains this pace.
  • The House With the Wraparound Porch (my longest book and highest priced work) had the most sales in the U.S. and abroad this year.
  • Sales in the UK were up and I was happy to see Australia represented.
  • On my Smashwords ebook sales channel, Apple sales were the strongest.
  • Paperback sales were about twenty percent higher than ebook sales. (Wow!)

So far my best selling books are

#3, The Cyber Miracles (Book 1 of the Maeve Kenny Series—my first novel);

#2, 3/17 (my traditional Irish music parody of Dante’s Inferno);

and my #1 book of all time is…



Share: America’s reading trends

Jhonathon Sturgeon analyzes Amazon’s Bestselling Books for 2014 in this POST for Flavorwire. Indie writers should note: serial narratives are hot!

hFinally! Margaret Sullivan of the New York Times has written a column calling for the media to treat Amazon and Hachette equally in their dispute. She says their fight is a tale of digital disruption.

This is a very important read for all indie authors!

NEW RELEASE: Gerry McCullough

JMW_front covereBOOK TITLE: Johnny McClintock’s War: One Man’s Struggle Against the Hammer Blows of Life

PRICE: £1.99 / $2.99

GENRE: Historical Fiction / Literary Fiction

SYNOPSIS: The story of one man’s struggle to maintain his faith in spite of everything life throws at him.

As the outbreak of the First World War looms closer, John Henry McClintock, a Northern Irish Protestant by upbringing, meets Rose Flanagan, a Catholic, at a gospel tent mission – and falls in love with her.

When Johnny enlists and sets off to fight in the war he finds himself surrounded by death and tragedy, which pushes his trust in God to the limit.

After more than five years absence he returns home to a bitter, war torn Ireland, where both he and Rose are seen as traitors to their own sides.

John Henry and Rose overcome all opposition and, finally, marry. But a few years later comes the hardest blow of all. Can John Henry still hang on to his faith in God?


AUTHOR BIO: Gerry McCullough, born and brought up in North Belfast, is an award winning short story writer with a distinguished reputation. She has had nearly seventy short stories published, broadcast, or collected in anthologies, and around thirty poems published in various magazines. In 2005 her story Primroses won the Cuirt Award (Galway Arts Festival) and she has won, been short listed, and been commended in a number of other literary competitions since.

Gerry graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with a Joint Honours degree in English Literature and Philosophy, and followed this with an MA in English Literature, also from Queen’s. She now lives in Conlig just outside Bangor, Northern Ireland. She is married to singer-songwriter, writer and radio presenter Raymond McCullough, and has four children.

Gerry’s first novel, Belfast Girls, originally published by Night Publishing and now published by Precious Oil Publications, was a #1 bestseller on paid UK Kindle Literary Fiction. Belfast Girls is set mainly in the years after the ceasefires and the peace process, and is the story of three girls, friends since childhood, from different religious backgrounds, who remain friends in spite of this difference; and of their lives and loves.

Danger Danger, her second book, an Irish romantic thriller, was followed by a collection of 12 Irish short stories, The Seanachie: Tales of Old Seamus. Angel in Flight, featuring Angel Murphy, ‘a strong minded Belfast girl’, was published in June 2012. Angel in Belfast, the second Angel Murphy thriller, came out in June 2013. Gerry is also the author of a children’s book, Lady Molly & The Snapper, a time travel adventure set in Ireland and on the high seas, in which the brother and sister travel back to meet, among others, Cuchulain, St Patrick, Grainne the pirate, and victims of the Famine.

Johnny McClintock’s War, her latest book, published in August 2014 is set before, during and after the first world war and the twenties’ Irish troubles and focuses on a man’s inner struggle with his faith in the midst of outward conflict.










Six Questions

Indie Author Chris Blewitt invites me over to this blog today for interview with just six questions. You can read them HERE.

Chris is the author of bestselling sports novel about Augusta National Golf Course, Deep Rough, among other books, including the Foxworth Academy series. Read more about his works at his Amazon author page HERE.

His website:

Follow his tweets at @cblewitt.

Petition: Why indies love Amazon

dave3There’s a lot of misinformation about Amazon and its conflict with Hachette Publishing right now. Please take the time to read this petition shared by author David Gaughran to learn the truth and why indie writers like myself are grateful to Amazon:

lostlovelettersstackIndie Chicks, a worldwide group of independent women authors, is proud to release its latest anthology: Lost Love Letters.

From the book description:

Love letter – what phrase conjures up more intense feelings than that simple phrase? Most of us have received a love letter. Many of us have written a love letter. Some of those letters were tucked away in the bottom of a drawer. Others were ripped to shreds or destroyed in symbolic flames. Whatever their fate, the one characteristic all love letters share is their raw and intense honesty. When we are declaring our love to another, we are speaking straight from the heart. Such words are precious because they capture a true moment in time. Whether a love lasts or not, in that moment, those words are real and sincere.

Last year, when the talented women writers of Indie Chicks were thinking about the subject of their next anthology, Barbara Silkstone came up with the idea of a compilation of love letters. Immediately, all of the women responded with enthusiasm. But what kind of love letters should be included in this anthology? There are many kinds of love letters – sweet and innocent; frank and honest; torrid and steamy; or sad and full of regret. What type of letters should be included in such a book? They tossed around some ideas and eventually came up with this one – Lost Love Letters. These are the long-overdue love letters that were never written. The recipient might be a first love, a child, a parent, a favorite aunt, or the one that got away. The subject was wide open, and the instruction was simple – pour your heart out. And so they did.

Here is that collection. Be prepared to smile and remember your own loves. Be prepared to glimpse into the hearts of many women. Be prepared to cry.

And when you are finished, you just might want to write your own Lost Love Letter. The best time to share love is always now.

Letters from many best selling authors including: Barbara Silkstone, Cheryl Bradshaw, Cheryl Shireman, Christine Nolfi, Christy Hayes, Consuelo Saah-Baehr, Donna Fasano, Faith Mortimer, Georgina Young-Ellis, Gerry McCullough, Heather Marie Adkins, Karin Cox, Kat Flannery, Katherine Owen, Lia Fairchild, Linda Barton, Lisa Vandiver, Louise Voss, Lynn Hubbard, Mary Pat Hyland, Melissa Smith, Peg Brantley, Penelope Crowe, Sarah Woodbury, Shanon Grey, Sibel Hodge, and Tonya Kappes.

To learn more about the Indie Chicks, visit their blog Indie Chicks Cafe or their facebook page.

One week left for book deals!

217cardCHRISTMAS SHOPPING? Here are some links where you can get my books on sale. All prices have been reduced until Dec. 25.:

MY BOOKSTORE AT AMAZON: Paperbacks only:

AMAZON: for paperbacks & ebooks:

SMASHWORDS (ebookformats for ALL readers):

KOBO reader digital format:

SONY ereader:


BARNES & NOBLE: Nook store