One of many convenient features about ebooks is that you can actually send one as a gift. It's an inexpensive way to express seasonal salutations to a literary-minded loved one, and you don't have to worry about the package being late or getting lost.
Below are a few choice suggestions of eclectic works by independent authors (those with big multi-media professional book contracts don't really need the extra love from lil' ol' me – I'm sticking to my own ranks). They are not only enjoyable, but instructive in how to properly present and promote an ebook – if you’re thinking of publishing your own. All of these authors are not only fine writers, but veterans of indie marketing.
Down the Hatch: One Man's One Year Odyssey Through Cocktail Recipes and Lore
by Vince Keenan
This bestselling premium booze guide by a well known Seattle author collects his previously published essays plus numerous classic (and obscure) recipes culled from 365 days of dedicated field research, many of which will be ideally suited for your own upcoming Christmas/New Year's Eve festivities.
The results are both informative and entertaining, as this witty writer delves into the story behind each carefully selected libation. Keenan also promotes his book via his blog, which focuses on his three main obsessions: baseball, movies, and of course, cocktails, with new recipes added to the mix on a regular basis.
The Parrot Talks In Chocolate (The Life and Times of a Hawaiian Tiki Bar, Book 1)
by Everett Peacock
This very popular Hawaii-based author has numerous, broadly appealing best-selling ebooks to offer, but this one is quintessential in its charm, romance, and accessibility. It will make you feel like you're swinging gently on a hammock beside a tropical beach, even if you're really basking beside a fireplace on a wintry evening.
This is like the literary equivalent of classic “easy listening” music, meaning it's both soothing and stimulating at the same time. You can follow Peacock via his equally wise and warm blog.
Murder Behind the Closet Door: The Wildwood Murder Mystery Ghost Story
by Christopher Pinto
Not only are his several books perfectly aimed at all fans of mysteries, one of the lucrative genres in the literary marketplace, but increasingly famous Florida noir author Christopher Pinto sets a prime example of how to self-publish and self-promote. He has an extensive web site, a popular blog about retro pop culture, and a prominent social media presence.
This is his first novel out of several, all recommended. It's a murder mystery with a keen sense of place (South Jersey) and period (1970s with flashbacks to the 30s, 40s and 50s). A seasoned, savvy pitch person (his day job is writing ad copy for a commercial agency, a la Mad Men), Pinto even offers his very long (but consistently entertaining) debut novel in an abridged format for those with impatient attention spans! Now that's smart marketing.
Chapter One: Janey
by Mary Catherine
Part of a series of short story collections wherein each brief introductory piece is constructed as an opening chapter to a longer work. Readers then vote on whether the story should be finished.
This raw character study/familial drama - “Tough Chick” is the appropriate chapter title – is a particularly popular entry by an extremely accomplished author, with the ebook hitting #18 on Amazon's Top 100 Short Fiction list, while the paperback edition was hot on the heels of Stephen King himself, reaching #84 out of a million titles!
It's a quick, breezy but emotionally complex read that shows off exceptional talent, and the “Chapter One” concept is an innovative, interactive marketing technique you may want to consider for your own work.
by Will Viharo
Primary rule of self-promotion: never pass up an opportunity to plug your work! This is actually my very first novel, the final draft completed when I was 19 years old back in 1982, and since passed through many hands including agents, publishers and even movie stars, but after decades of dejection, it wasn't until 2010 I decided to pull it out of the closet, dust it off, revise it a bit, and publish it myself via Lulu and Kindle.
It's my one “family friendly” book out of my otherwise lurid pulp fiction titles, suitable for all ages, about a guy only a foot tall, lost and alone in a nostalgic, Damon Runyonesque world of lumberjacks, hobos, gangsters, and showgirls. I even included my own early, crude, Thurber-esque illustrations. Many of its fans think it would make a great Pixar movie, too. But don't wait for that...
Hopefully this brief list will inspire you to do even more ebook shopping throughout the year, or if you’re a writer yourself, to get cracking on that next story. Maybe you’ll make next year’s list.
Are you working on your own ebook, and will you have it ready in time for next holiday season? If so, tell us a little about it! Never too early to start pitching your product...
Photo courtesy of the unquietlibrarian